HK teen held for protest to remain with parents

Judge rules 14-year-old arrested for posting message on wall to encourage pro-democracy demonstrators can remain in family's care.

HK teen held for protest to remain with parents
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
 A judge ruled Monday that a 14-year-old girl who was arrested for posting a chalk message on a wall used to encourage pro-democracy demonstrators could remain in her family's care, denying a police application to put her under the guardianship of the state.

The government had sought a "care and protection" order for the teenager, which could have seen her taken away from her deaf father, the South China Morning Post reported.

Analysts saw the move as an attempt to frighten children out of participation in the recent democracy protests and an effort to intimidate parents out of letting their children take part. 

Protesters blocked streets for 79 days from the end of September to pressure Beijing to allow free elections in the former British colony.

The girl was sent to a children's home after being arrested last month following her drawing of a flower on the "Lennon Wall," where protesters posted notes of support to one another.

She was held at a police station for 17 hours before police applied for a protection order from the court Dec. 29, the newspaper reported. 

The girl was forced to stay at a children's home for two nights before a public outcry and an urgent hearing before a High Court judge led to her being granted bail on the evening of Dec. 31. The judge allowed the teen to return home, but under curfew conditions.

“After reading the social worker’s report, I find that it is not necessary to grant the child protection order at this stage,” the court's magistrate said Monday, according to the newspaper's report.

The actions of the police and the magistrate who granted the initial order have raised concern, with some social workers and lawmakers saying normal procedures were not followed as a social worker had not been consulted before the order was applied for.

Pro-democracy student group Scholarism said more than 55,000 people signed a petition demanding to know why a protection order was sought.

Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2015, 10:37
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