Former HKCTU chairperson Joe Wong, vice-chairperson Leo Tang, and treasurer Chung Chun-fai were found guilty of violating the Hong Kong Societies Ordinance for not providing operational information to the police.
The three were found guilty under Article 16(2) of the Societies Ordinance for failing to cooperate with the police’s request for information. They all pleaded guilty and were each fined HKD8,000.
In his statement at the court, Leo Tang said he deliberately chose not to hand in information, “it was done by conscience, not an inadvertent mistake.”
Leo Tang: I will not just bow and submit my rights
Tang condemned the police for pressing civil society organisations to “self-incriminate,” encroaching on individuals right to silence. He said that the Hong Kong police had infinite power and the public cannot predict how the police would use the material in the case, creating a chilling effect. “I will not just bow and submit my rights. We cannot contort ourselves like a maggot.”
The three received a notice from the Police requesting information of the HKCTU in February 2022 – four months after the HKCTU voted to disband.
In 31 March 2022, the Hong Kong National Security Police took the three to the police stations for investigation.The police also raided more than 10 locations across Hong Kong, seizing documents and electronic devices from the HKCTU’s offices and warehouses.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee expressed concern in its most recent report on the Hong Kong human rights review about the HKSAR government curtailing freedom of association under the Societies Ordinance, including disproportionate surveillance and interception of trade union data. The Committee demanded the authorities to lift all the excessive restriction and stop targeting trade unionists.