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Saturday, Feb 24, 2024

Labor Day rally called off as ‘missing’ organizer released by police

Labor Day rally called off as ‘missing’ organizer released by police

The application for police to approve a rally on Labor Day was retracted on Wednesday, confirmed one of the organizers, Denny To Chun-ho, the former committee member of the now-disbanded Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.
This came as a Facebook page dedicated to the rally said the other organizer Joe Wong Nai-yuen, the former chairman of HKCTU, went missing around 7.30 am, suspecting police had arrested him.

Around 1 pm, To confirmed on the Facebook page that Wong had returned after he was taken away by police but was not arrested. He also said Wong had a mental breakdown and apparently suffered from a great deal of pressure.

“He [Wong] told me that he has signed a paper to retract the application to stage the rally. However, subject to the Article 63 of the Hong Kong National Security Law, he couldn’t disclose details any further,” To said.

Article 63 of the NSL states that relevant institutions, organizations and individuals who assist with the handling of a case concerning an offense endangering national security shall keep confidential any information pertaining to the case.

To said Wong had done everything he could to defend the rights of assembly and association. “I completely understand and support his [Wong’s] decision,” To also said.

To added that they had already expected how things would turn out before filing for police approval but called on Hongkongers to insist and uphold the values they believe in.

He also apologized to the public, saying that this frustration would not sink their will to protect workers’ well-being.

A police spokesperson said they met with one of the organisers on April 21 to learn more about the rally arrangement and emphasised the organiser should ensure good order and public safety could be maintained, and laws could be complied throughout the event.

He added that Police received a notification from the organiser on Wednesday that the May 1 rally on Hong Kong Island would be cancelled.

“It would be a responsible act for a public event organiser to cancel the event if he assessed that he was unable to comply with the above legislation,” the spokesman said. He also reiterated any persons who continue to participate in an illegal public procession or meeting on Hong Kong Island on May 1 may commit the offence of “taking part in an unauthorised assembly”.
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