fredag 8. oktober 2021

Hong Kong plans megacourt to deal with protest arrests backlog

Hong Kong will build a new megacourt to address a shortage of space as it works through a backlog of the thousands arrested during the 2019 mass protests, and the more than 150 arrested under the national security law. The city’s leader, Carrie Lam, announced the initiative on Wednesday in a policy address, which also included plans for a new metropolis on the border with mainland China and further tightening of national security laws.

Lam said the megacourt would be established in an existing government building “to handle cases involving a large number of defendants” until a planned new district court is commissioned in late 2027. She said work on the court, as well as supporting facilities, would begin early next year. “I have asked relevant departments to fully assist the judiciary in tackling the problem of courtroom shortage,” she said.

During demonstrations in 2019 when millions took to Hong Kong’s streets, police arrested more than 10,200 individuals. There was a 70% increase in the number of 16- to 20-year-olds arrested compared with the previous year, according to police statistics.