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Gay Community to Take Legal Action Against Hong Kong Police

in HONG KONG, 06/06/2011

A gay demonstrator has sought legal aid to take legal action against the Hong Kong Police for the infringement of his Basic Law right to peacefully demonstrate in the city without harassment or disruption from the police, said the Tongzh Community Joint Meeting (TCJM).

This move arises out of police action on May 15 when police disrupted a demonstration in Hong Kong to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

Police demanded that dancing at the demonstration cease and threatened to arrest organisers if their demands were not met.

The demonstration, attended by a legislator Ms Cyd Ho and the Chairperson of the Equal opportunities Commission Mr Lam Poon Kwong, was halted and attendees were videoed by uniformed officers positioned in the middle of the peaceful crowd, in what has been described as a serious attack on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights and the right to demonstrate in Hong Kong.

The legal action will seek a declaration that the police action was unlawful and damages for infringement of the applicants’ constitutional rights.

■ The Tongzhi Community Joint Meeting (TCJM) is an alliance of Hong Kong LGBT groups that aims to link tongzhi organisations operating in Hong Kong, to assist them in their work and to provide a network for information in both Chinese and English within the tongzhi community.

The TCJM also researches and campaigns on issues of key importance. Tongzhi (同志) is a Chinese word, often translated as ‘comrade’, which has been adopted in recent years to describe people of different sexual orientations and gender identities in the Chinese-speaking world.

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