Hong Kong’s High Court ruled Monday that the anti-mask law, which was passed according to the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, is “unconstitutional.” This disappointing verdict will encourage radical protesters to do evil and discourage the police from curbing violence.
The ruling will further disrupt the value of right from wrong in Hong Kong society and make some people show more sympathy to rioters, instead of stepping up their criticism of violence. Opposition in the city has always accused the police of “abuse of force,” but never condemned those rioters who sabotage the city and attack the police lethally. The court’s verdict will let the opposition believe that this is their victory.
Most of the recent violence in Hong Kong has been conducted by masked rioters. Wearing masks has become a way for them to sabotage and escape legal responsibilities. The growing violence has almost destroyed the rule of law in and the modernity of Hong Kong. The city is at its last gasp as an international financial center. And the current ruling has closed its door to the emergency room.
It is a pity that some judges in Hong Kong have not fully fulfilled their responsibility to jointly fight violence.
The authority of the rule of law must be rebuilt in Hong Kong to bring back order. It is impossible to achieve this without curbing the raging violence. The rioters are not without scruples. Their masks show their cowardliness. Hong Kong society should increase their pressure instead of giving them courage.
With independent judicial power, the courts should serve the fundamental interests of Hong Kong society. Now the city is completely unlike a modern city. Its traffic is almost paralyzed and the schools cannot open. And its function as an international financial center must have been eroded. Hong Kong courts should make a contribution to changing such a situation.
The cost of conducting violence in Hong Kong is now way too low. Even if some radical rioters are arrested by the police, they will be released by judges on bail in most cases. Some judges are actually acting as umbrellas for radical rioters. Whatever their original intent is, they are opening a crack in the dam that prevented violence.
The Hong Kong police have now become a lonely barrier to maintaining Hong Kong’s crumbling order. They are attacked by radical rioters at the scene of violence. Even if holding a gun, they cannot use it. And their families are in peril. Meantime, Hong Kong judges are living a comfortable life. There is no need for them to worry about retaliation or other dangers. But they continue to undercut the police’s efforts.
The future of Hong Kong belongs to all Hongkongers, not only to the civil servants and police officers. Witnessing the masked rioters’ violence, Hong Kong society can’t do anything about it. Many mainlanders are concerned about Hong Kong, but those judges in Hong Kong are not concerned at all. This is pathetic.