Police responds to double standards on two gatherings with opposite purposes

The two young women being detained by police on Thursday night (Courtesy 筆載自由)

Public Security Police Force (PSP) spokesperson Ma Chio Hong was unable to provide a straight clarification for double standards towards two completely different gatherings.
During today’s (Friday’s) regular police press conference on Covid-19, several questions were made to PSP regarding the department’s understanding of the city’s law related to the right of demonstration and assembly. This followed PSP’s detention of two pedestrians at Senado Square on Thursday night and the department’s negligence regarding a gather on Friday.
Thursday night, PSP detained two young female citizens who showed up at the Senado Square after the annual June 4 vigil ran online. The two young ladies happen to be the daughters of pro-democracy lawmaker Au Kam San.
Despite no vigil or other civil assembly taking place at the square, the police department deployed a team of about 50 officers in uniform, with more undercover, to watch the public.
When the online vigil finished, Au’s daughters left the indoor gathering and visited the Senado Square carrying electrical candles and pamphlets which the duo helped clean from the event site.
At 1030 p.m., on June 4, PSP spotted the two young women, suspecting they were taking part in an assembly and violating Macau’s demonstration law.
Only around 2 a.m., on June 5, did PSP released the two female citizens. According to Au, the police authority also seized the candles and pamphlets.
The PSP spokesperson insisted that PSP’s action was done in accordance with the law and that the department had taken all methods to ensure Macau’s safety from Covid-19. Ma pledged the understanding from members of the public.
Ma continued claiming that PSP felt that the situation was demanding the police department to put tens of police officers at Senado Square despite that there were no signs of assembly.
PSP already forwarded Au’s daughters’ cases to the Office of the Prosecutor General (MP) although without a formal charge. Ma said that PSP was “reporting” the case to the prosecution authority.
On one hand, PSP deemed the two pedestrians’ presence at Senado Square an assembling. On the other hand, the same department had grasped no understanding or had hold no information regarding tens of people’s gathering on Friday morning in support of the national security law of Hong Kong.
On Friday morning, Macao Youth Federation held a gathering to support the national security law of Hong Kong. A group of 40 participants formally marched from the Macau Science Museum, passing by the Macau Tower, Barra area, Iao Han and more places, scattering the message.
Questioned on the definition of this assembly, Ma said that PSP was “unaware of the event” and was “uncertain regarding the nature of the activity.”
Ma said “it is difficult to comment on each individual case” and PSP handled all cases in accordance with the law.
However, the PSP spokesperson indeed stated that, according to Macau’s demonstration law, parties must inform PSP director in case of any possibility of using public roads or public spaces.
During the approximately 40-minute press conference, Ma was unable to justify PSP’s double standards in the two cases by citing law prescriptive.
Citing the Court of Final Appeal, Ma said that a protest is considered to comprise one person or more, an assembly needs two or more people.
In the end, Ma remarked that members of the public shall not worry about unlawful arrest because Macau is a city of freedom of speech and safety, and because Macau police authority follows the law.

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