The Hong Kong government has reportedly asked Facebook to close the page of the Hong Kong National Party, which was deemed illegal by the city’s Security Bureau earlier this week because they said its separatist, discriminatory manifesto could endanger national and public security.
The party’s website has been taken offline after a ruling by the bureau on Monday to ban the party’s operations, and local newspapers revealed the Hong Kong police had also lodged a formal request to Facebook to shut down the party’s page, to which the US social media giant has yet to respond.
But the request did not include the personal account of Andy Chan, the convenor of the party, according to the Ming Pao Daily.
It is also said the landlord of a unit inside a factory building in the city’s Tuen Mun district rented by the party had canceled the lease and asked the tenant to immediately vacate. The landlord insisted the lease was made through a realty agent and he never knew Chan or his colleagues.
The city’s Societies Ordinance, cited by the government as the legal basis for the ban, stipulates that any person who knowingly allows a meeting of an unlawful society to be held in any place he owns, occupies or has control over shall be liable to a fine of HK$50,000 (US$6,400) and imprisonment for 12 months. The fine and prison term are then doubled for repeated offenses.
The pro-independence outfit has been given 30 days to make an appeal to the Executive Council and only after its appeal is dismissed can it seek a judicial review in a bid to overturn the ban.
It is the first time since Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997 that the Societies Ordinance has been cited to order a political group to be dissolved.
Meanwhile, another group that calls itself the Hong Kong Communist Party said it had notified the government of its establishment and that its platform would be to overthrow the city’s capitalist system through all means including force.
The party noted on its Facebook page that it had the Mao Zedong thoughts and Xi Jinping thoughts as its core doctrine and that they would seek to establish a socialist republic in Hong Kong through armed uprisings.