英文

下一篇

Editorial:Don't let the rule of law die in silence

【明報專訊】AFTER acts of wanton vandalism at multiple MTR stations, train operations were again disrupted on the first day of the new school term yesterday (Sep 2) due to the non‑cooperation movement carried out by some in open defiance of court injunctions. The rule of law is both the cornerstone of the city and the core value most cherished by Hong Kong people. The authority of judicial organs is exactly the foundation of the rule of law. MTR facilities are repairable even if seriously damaged. But if the rule of law is subjected to a heavy blow or impact, it will be much more difficult to repair the breach. The Hong Kong Bar Association has released a statement condemning the mass defiance of court injunctions over the weekend, saying that such actions would make society descend into lawlessness. The statement pinpoints the seriousness of the problem. It is the responsibility of all sectors in society, especially the legal profession, regardless of their political stance, to stand up and guard the rule of law as well as the authority of the court. Actions constituting contempt of court should not be left unheard and unquestioned. The rule of law should never be left to die in silence.

Approximately half of the ninety‑plus MTR stations have been sabotaged so far. 32 of them were damaged on Saturday alone while 15 stations were vandalised on Sunday. The violent activists damaged facilities like station control rooms, turnstiles, ticket issuing machines and platform screen doors. At Tung Chung station, two people were allegedly beaten up by the violent activists for taking photos. Mong Kok and Prince Edward stations were so severely damaged that they had to be closed for one day. After emergency repairs, all stations of the various lines finally managed to open for operation yesterday. But it will take more time for some facilities to be restored. The MTR corporation strongly condemned the vandalism. However, a new "non‑cooperation movement" was launched yesterday morning at several stations, disrupting train operations and affecting people commuting to work or school.

The violent activists have damaged not only tangible facilities of the MTR but also the most fundamental spirit of the rule of law. Last month, the Airport Authority obtained an injunction from the court to forbid anyone from obstructing or interfering with the operations of Hong Kong International Airport after it was paralysed by radical protesters. The MTR Corporation soon followed suit. According to the injunction, creating trouble on trains or in stations, "causing disturbance" to other passengers and the use of "any threatening language" are all prohibited. The judge stressed that incalculable damage had already been inflicted upon train services and the MTR staff also had to be spared from harm or threat. The injunction applies to all people, "no matter what colour the person wears".

The fight against political injustice must not be equated with a challenge to the authority of the court. As we pointed out yesterday, the situation over the past few days has not been about "opposing the government's inhumanity and injustice" anymore. Rather, it has been about whether or not we will continue to safeguard the rule of law. If Hong Kong fails to adhere to this fundamental principle, that will perhaps lead to the demise of the rule of law. The Bar Association's underlying message in its strong condemnation of the mass defiance of court injunctions over the weekend is also a call for the defence of the rule of law. The association called on the government to face simmering public sentiment squarely, withdraw the amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance completely and carry out an independent investigation. Nevertheless, at the same time it also emphasised that a mass defiance of the court injunction will only lead to a descent into lawlessness.

明報社評 2019.09.03:法庭禁制令不容無視 勿讓法治沉默中死亡

港鐵多個車站遭到肆意破壞,昨天開學日,又有人發起不合作運動,干擾港鐵列車正常運作,視法庭禁制令如無物。法治是香港基石,也是港人最珍惜的核心價值,司法機構權威正是法治概念之本。港鐵設施縱受嚴重破壞,仍然可以修補,可是法治一旦受到衝擊重挫,缺口一開,要修補就困難得多。大律師公會發表聲明,嚴厲譴責周末周日群眾集體違抗法庭禁制令,將把社會推向目無法紀狀態,道出了問題的嚴重,社會各界尤其是法律專業人士,不管政治立場為何,都有責任站出來守護法治,維護法庭權威,不能對藐視法庭行為不聞不問,任由法治在沉默中死亡。

港鐵車站逾90個,當中約有一半受到破壞,單是周六便有32個遭殃,至於周日當災的則有15個。暴力分子破壞車站控制室、入閘機、售票機以至月台幕門等設施;在東涌站,有兩人疑因拍照,遭暴力分子拉扯毆打。旺角站和太子站因損毁嚴重,被迫關閉一天,經過緊急搶修,各線所有車站昨天總算可以開放使用,惟部分設施需要較長時間復修。港鐵強烈譴責破壞行為,可是昨天早上仍有人在多個車站發起所謂「不合作運動」,干擾列車運作,影響市民上班上學。

暴力分子所破壞的,不僅是港鐵一些硬件設施,而是最基本的法治精神。上月激進示威者癱瘓香港機場,事後機管局向法院申請了禁制令,禁止任何人阻礙或干擾機場運作,未幾港鐵亦仿效。根據法庭禁制令,在列車或車站鬧事、對其他乘客作出「構成煩擾的行為」,又或使用「任何威脅性的言論」,均在禁制之列。法官強調,列車服務遭不可估量的破壞,港鐵職員亦需免受傷害恐嚇,禁制令適用於所有人,「不論他的衣服顏色為何」。

挑戰政治不公義,跟挑戰法庭權威,絕對不能混為一談。我們昨天指出,過去數天的情况,已不是什麼「反對政府不仁不義」,而是還要不要守護法治,香港若連這條底線也守不住,法治將有走向崩潰之虞。大律師公會發表聲明,嚴厲譴責群眾周末集體違抗法庭禁制令,所要表達的信息也是維護法治。公會提到,當局應正視民情憤慨,正式撤回修例、展開獨立調查,惟同時亦強調,集體違抗法庭禁制令,將把社會推向目無法紀狀態。

■Glossary

defiance:open refusal to obey sb/sth

constitute:to be considered to be sth

descent:a change in a situation, from good to bad

上 / 下一篇新聞