Hong Kong judge rules in favor of the police in IDAHO 2011 case

Judge rules the police acted lawfully when they disrupted an IDAHO event in Hong Kong in 2011

Hong Kong judge rules in favor of the police in IDAHO 2011 case
24 July 2012

A judge in Hong Kong ruled in favor of the police in a controversial case concerning the disruption of an IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) event in 2011.

Police disrupted a peaceful anti-homophobia rally on 15 May 2011 when a group began to dance, despite previously issuing a Notice of No Objection to the demonstration. The police claimed the dancing meant the event required an entertainment license.

The action of the police was challenged in court by an individual identified only as ‘T’ who was at the demonstration, during a hearing that started on 4 June.

The hearing came to an end last week with the Honourable Mr Justice Lam ruling that the event did need a public entertainment license because ‘public demonstration and public entertainment are not necessarily mutually exclusive’ and the purpose of the license is for ‘ensuring public safety and public order’.

The organizers of the event, Pink Alliance, said they were ‘disappointed’ with the judgement.

‘We are concerned that such an obscure piece of entertainment legislation may continue to be used to restrict Hong Kong people’s freedom to exercise their right to demonstrate as guaranteed by the Basic Law,’ Pink Alliance chair Reggie Ho told Gay Star News.

‘We maintained that at no point during IDAHO 2011 were there signs of public safety being threatened, not even during the dance segment. The number of police officers deployed to halt the event was disproportional, and the crackdown was heavy-handed and unnecessary. We also question why the police, who were present during the dance rehearsal, waited until the show was officially on to take action if their basis for intervening was the absence of an entertainment license.’

Micheal Vidler of the solicitors representing ‘T’ in the case said that they will appeal the judge’s decision which was based on ‘very scant consideration of the constitutional issues’. 

Vidler told Gay Star News that the government are ‘fighting this challenge with all their resources’ and the case will probably ‘go all the way to the court of final appeal’.

Pink Alliance held a successful IDAHO event this year (2012) with no police disruptions.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Burger King to start selling gay burgers

Fast food giant has revealed the Proud Whopper, a burger with a very special message for Gay Pride
No thumbnail available

#Trailblazer: Mikey Walsh: 'I spent a whole day in New York looking for the Ghostbusters set!'

Openly gay Gypsy Boy author shares his experiences on the road
No thumbnail available

'People think we are powerless and voiceless, but we have enormous power'

Sunil Pant has come along way from not even knowing the word for gay before he was twenty to getting LGBTI rights recognized by the Supreme Court in Nepal, and he's not going to let current troubles hold him back
No thumbnail available

First national LGBT leadership conference held in Beijing

Historic event in the emerging LGBT rights movement in China
No thumbnail available

New online LGBT magazine launched

Clusion magazine aims to dispel the stereotype of 'sex mad' LGBT people
No thumbnail available

What was Rob Lowe doing working next door to a dildo factory?

Actor's failed series The Lyon's Den was filmed in a warehouse located by where the sex toys were made
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Indian director: Gay kiss in Bollywood film 'stunned audiences'

Director Dibakar Bannerjee says he has had the time of his life making the LGBT friendly anthology film
No thumbnail available

Lesbian super PAC launches to push gay and women's rights

Actress Jane Lynch and tennis star Billy Jean King pledge support to the political action committee formed by a Republican businessman's daughter
No thumbnail available

Firm sorry for telling gay men they may have anti-HIV ‘cool gene’

Dating sites Grindr and Gaydar pull advert that invited gay men to test for HIV protection gene. Test firm Cool Genes says ‘sorry’