Hong Kong court rules face mask ban unconstitutional

19 Novembre, 2019, 01:30 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Under a law introduced by the Hong Kong government last month wearing a mask at any kind of assembly was made illegal

A ban on face masks imposed by Hong Kong's chief executive on pro-democracy protesters has been lifted after the High Court ruled the ban was unconstitutional.

On Oct. 5, Lam announced the Prohibition On Face Covering Regulation, which was derived from the colonial era Emergency Regulations Ordinance.

Despite multiple arrests for violating the anti-mask law, protesters continued to take to the streets with all manner of masks in the subsequent month and a half after the ban went into effect.

The judges said the measure "exceeds what is reasonably necessary to achieve the aim of law enforcement, investigation and prosecution of violent protesters even in the prevailing turbulent circumstances in Hong Kong, and that it fails to strike a reasonable balance between the societal benefits promoted and the inroads made into the protected rights".

On Wednesday, the Chinese University of Hong Kong said it would cancel classes for the rest of term after a violent stand-off between police and protesters. The ban was largely symbolic, with many demonstrators refusing to comply.

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Will the removal of the mask ban calm tensions?

There is no suggestion that the ban drop will do anything to quell protests.

The comments came after a brief and rare deployment of Chinese troops in Hong Kong over the weekend to clean up streets. Violence has escalated in recent weeks as organizers urged protesters to "blossom everywhere" to cause maximum disruption.

The protests were triggered in June by a proposed law allowing for the extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China.

Demonstrators are angry at what they see as Chinese meddling in Hong Kong's promised freedoms when the then British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

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