Hong Kong: 2 persons charged for defying face mask ban


Authorities in Hong Kong detained and charged two persons, for defying the face mask ban, media reports claimed on Monday.

They were granted conditional bail by a court, according to Kyodo news.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam had invoked a colonial-era Emergency Regulations Ordinance last week, imposing ban on wearing face masks, in order to curb unrelenting protests in the region.

The two persons were identified as Ng Lung-ping, 18, a male university student and Choi Yuk-wan, 38, a woman.

The duo was reportedly arrested in Kowloon on Saturday.

According to the court order they would face a travel ban and have to report to the police every week until their next appearance on Nov. 8.

Hong Kong, an autonomous region under China since 1998, is witnessing protests since early June, against the Lam administration’s move to legalize extradition to mainland China.

Even as the bill was officially dumped, the protests continued unabated.

The report added that Ng and Choi were charged under clauses, dealing with violating the face-covering prohibition ordinance and unlawful assembly.

The Hong Kong Education Bureau has also asked schools to report about students, defying the ban.

According to an online news website, Hong Kong Free Press, Chair of the Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools, Teddy Tang said that the Education Bureau has asked schools to send a WhatsApp message, before 11 a.m. (0300GMT) stating how many students are wearing masks.

The schools have also been asked to identify students, boycotting classes and those absent because of “abnormal reasons”.

Meanwhile, a senior member of Hong Kong Executive Council Ip Kwok-him has said that Lam administration was planning gagging the internet to stop protests.

“At this stage, the government will consider all legal means to stop the riots,” Hong Kong Free Press quoted Kwok-him as saying saying.

“We would not rule out a ban on the internet,“ he added.
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