Carrie Lam, Managing Director of Hong Kong, announced at a press conference in Hong Kong on October 4, 2019, that an Emergency Law will be enforced and face masks will be banned by protesters.
Mohd Rasfan | AFP | Getty Images
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam summoned emergency forces and banned face masks on Friday. The order will come into force on Saturday, October 5.
Consequences for the lifting of the ban are imprisonment of up to one year and imprisonment of up to one year fine of 25,000 Hong Kong dollars (3,1
In a press conference, Lam stated that the ban on face masks is necessary because "almost all protesters who commit vandalism and violence cover their faces."
"The purpose was to hide their identity and evade the law, and they have become more daring," Lam said.
However, she noted that the mask ban contains certain exceptions "to meet legitimate needs."
Face masks have become ubiquitous in the city after the 2003 SARS outbreak. According to the World Health Organization, 298 people died of the disease in Hong Kong.
The Legislative Council in Hong Kong will discuss the legislation on 16 October when the meeting resumes, Lam said.
Pro-democracy protesters march out of Chater Garden during a protest against a possible ban on demonstrators wearing facemasks on October 4, 2019 in Hong Kong.
Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images
The head of the Hong Kong government said the decision had been taken after convening a special meeting of the Executive Council, which decided to put the emergency regulation into effect. Lam stated that the government believes that the regulation will have a "deterrent effect" on violent behavior and support policemen in the performance of their duties.
According to the Law of 1922, the Director-General may "enact any provision he might consider desirable in the public interest." It also means that all provisions drawn up under this Regulation remain in force pending their annulment by the Director-General.
Hong Kong has been swallowed by mass demonstrations since early June. Initially, the protest began against a bill now withdrawn that would have allowed extradition to mainland China.
Tensions to New Highs
Lams comments come after tensions hit a new high on Tuesday, Chinese National Day, after a 18-year high. The old anti-government protester was shot dead by the police, the first person to be shot after nearly four months of unrest. The demonstrator was accused of inciting and attacking a police officer.
The local authorities have repeatedly stated that the officer fired his self-defense weapon. Several videos of the shootings show demonstrators carrying items such as wrenches and hammers.
Of the roughly 1,100 injured in the protests, Lam said at least 300 police officers.
"There is a use of lethal weapons, corrosive liquids, snatching of suspects, and the snatching of police pistols, so the police have no choice but to use their weapons to save their own lives," said Lam Reuters , the police in China, was subjected to more violence on Tuesday before China's 70th national holiday. Reuters reported that officials fired about 1,400 rounds of tear gas and nearly 900 rubber bullets.
Protester returns a tear gas tank during the demonstration.
Ivan Abreu, SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images
The city is a former British colony and returned to Chinese rule in 1997. As a special administrative region of China, Hong Kong is subject to the One Country, Two Systems structure which gives citizens legal and economic freedoms. Mainland Chinese citizens have none.
It is not immediately clear, however, whether Lam's use of emergency powers under a colonial law is legal.
"It is questionable, highly questionable, whether this is constitutional at all," said David Webb, the former director of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, on Friday before appealing to the CNBC law.
"If the government can legislate itself, it will be you. You are heading down a slippery slope because they can next pass laws that block parts of the Internet or allow, for example, detention without trial, and all laws, without that the Legislative Council is being reviewed.
Lam argued that these emergency powers exist used to address the "state of serious public danger."
"As a responsible government, we have a duty to use all available means to control the escalating violence Stop and restore peace in society, "she said.
The Hang The Hong Kong Seng Index fell 1.11% to close at 25821.03.
Lam also pointed out that similar versions At the beginning of this year, France banned masks after weeks of violence as part of the "yellow vest." [1 9659002] Lam emphasized that "although the regulation is titled" Emergency ", Hong Kong is not in a state of emergency and we do not announce that Hong Kong is in a state of emergency. "However, she said that Hong Kong is" in serious danger ", a condition that must be met in order to claim the ERO.
The Emergency Measures Regulation states that these provisions may include:
- Censorship and the control and suppression of publications, writings, maps, plans, photographs, communications and means of communication;
- arrest, detention, expulsion and deportation;
- control of ports, ports and waters of Hong Kong and the movement of ships;
- 19659034] transport by land, air or water and the control of the transport of persons and property;
- trade, export, import, production and manufacture;
- appropriation, control, expiry and disposal of property and
- amendment of an order, suspension of the enactment of an order and application of an order with or without modification  authorizing the entry and the search of premises;
- Authorization to invoke the authorities or persons specified in the Regulations to issue orders and regulations and to draw up or issue notices, licenses, permits, certificates or other documents for the purposes of the Regulations; Issuing a license, permit, certificate or other document for the purposes of the Regulations, whereby the fees may be determined in accordance with the rules;
- Acquisition or control on behalf of the Chief Executive of a property or business;  require persons to perform work or provide services;
- payment of compensation and remuneration to persons affected by the regulations and determination of such compensation; and
- the detention, trial, and punishment of individuals who violate the law or a law in Hong Kong.
– Stella Soon and Eustance Huang of CNBC contributed to this report.