Photo by 筆載自由

Au Kam San’s daughters could face public disobedience charges for alleged illegal June 4 vigil – Police

A police representative said today (Friday) that the two daughters of legislator Au Kam San could face charges from the Public Prosecutions Office for allegedly holding an illegal gathering near Senate Square.

Infractions to the protest or gatherings law can incur in a public disobedience crime, punishable with a fine or a prison sentence from 1 to 2 years.

Three people were taken yesterday near Senate Square by the Public Security Police Force (CPSP) for suspicions that they were holding an illegal gathering.

A large police presence was seen yesterday at Senate Square after 8:00pm after authorities did not authorise requests by the Democratic Development Union and the New Macau Association to hold vigils in remembrance of the June 4 Tiananmen students protests violent crackdown.

Both women were held by police at 10:30pm yesterday for identification near Saint Dominic’s Church after attending an indoor June 4 vigil held by at its headquarters Democratic Development Union.

The two women had in their possession of artificial candles as used in previous June 4 Tiananmen vigils and a book with the iconic picture of ‘Tank Man’.

In a statement on his Facebook page, legislator Au Kam San stated that after taking part in the indoor June 4 candlelight rally, his two daughters passed by Largo de Sao Domingos on their way home.

“The oldest is a photographer who took a photo on the stone bench opposite the church. It was because of this photo that he was surrounded by a large number of police officers, and under the immediate presentation of their identity cards, they lied to them to take them back to the police station to verify their identity,” the legislator stated.

The photo taken by Au Kam San’s daughter shortly before her detention

The legislator added that they were held for three hours with police stating that they could be charged for illegal assembly and releasing them at 2:00am.

‘They immediately asked the police officer, they are just sisters, how can it be a gathering? What is the definition of illegality and assembly? The police could only respond that ‘even if only one person stays in one place, it can be regarded as a meeting,’ Au Kam San noted

‘As a legislator I’m scared. I never imagined that a rally could be defined as such. If this ridiculous definition can be established, any Macau person can be charged with illegal assembly at any time,’ the legislator added.

Today’s daily Covid-19 pandemic press conference saw several reporters grilling CPSP spokesperson Ma Chio Hong an on the police criteria for defining that the two women were suspected of holding an illegal protest.

The police spokesperson stated that a Court of Final Appeal response concerning the New Macau Association request to hold small scale June 4 vigils indicated that one to two people could already be considered an illegal gathering.

“The government is still carrying out measures to avoid the spread of the pandemic and new Covid-19 cases. Public service shave cancelled several public activities or changed them to online. In order to protect public health safety and order, police do not allow any kind of gathering without authorisation,” the CPSP spokesperson Lei stated.

“We noticed that some people had breached the protest and gathering law and were taken to the police station for processing. I just want to say that we can express our opinion in legal ways. The pandemic situation is still not controlled in neighbouring regions so we have to be cautious with gatherings”

Today an association titled the Youth Cultivation Association organized a bus parade to support the national security legislation aimed at Hong Kong and put forward by the National People’s Congress (NPC), with 40 members and citizens taking part in the event and holding posters in support of the legislation in several locations in the city, including the Macau Science Center and the Macau Tower.

Youth Cultivation Association activity today

When questioned if that event could be considered an illegal gathering, the CPSP representative only stated the police had not been notified of the activity and had no information about it.

Media also questioned the CPSP on the exact number of ID checks carried out by police officers yesterday and how many people had been held for questioning but no exact number was provided.