Hong Kong Judge Who Acquitted Protesters Will Seek A New Life In Britain.
The President of the UK Supreme Court, needs to reconsider his finding that ‘ the judiciary in Hong Kong continues to act largely independently of government and their decisions continue to be consistent with the rule of law.’
At a time when judges are forced to leave Hong Kong following pressure by Beijing and their mouthpieces in the media to convict protestors, civil society groups are being forced to close, and nearly all pro-democracy voices are in jail, exile, or awaiting trial, it cannot be right that UK judges continue to offer Hong Kong courts a veneer of legitimacy.
Didi Tang, Beijing
Monday October 11 2021, 11.00am, The Times
A Hong Kong judge who was denounced for acquitting protesters brought before courts under Beijing’s security law is expected to leave the territory for Britain.
Sham Siu-man, 59, is set to become the first Hong Kong judge to leave since Beijing imposed its draconian law in June last year, part of a campaign to prosecute pro-democracy activists and silence dissent.
Sham, a district judge, became a target of the pro-Beijing media when he acquitted eight protesters involved in a protest in Wan Chai on August 31, 2019, and another six who were charged with rioting during a protest on October 1, 2019, also in Wan Chai. Newspaper complained that justice was not served and his rulings prompted calls for reforms to Hong Kong’s rule of law and judicial independence.
Sham Siu-man would have had six years left until the usual retirement age
In his judgment on the first group of defendants Sham said that it could not be ruled out that some people were there to witness a “historic moment”. Some of the defendants, he said, may have chosen to cover their faces fearing they would mistakenly be identified as rioters. Hong Kong authorities had banned masks at the protest.
The defendants could have fled after seeing police because they were afraid, not because they were trying to avoid being arrested, Sham said.