EOC expresses concern over anti-mainlanders protests
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) expressed serious concern that some mainland Chinese tourists were harassed and vilified by the protesters in a rally in Tsim Sha Tsui on last Sunday (16 February 2014).
Dr. YORK CHOW Yat-ngok, Chairperson of the EOC, said, “The EOC condemns the uncivilized behavior of the protesters to insult and humiliate tourists, who have every right to be here. We are very concerned that the protesters’ actions of using contemptuous and vilifying remarks may further heighten social tensions and damage Hong Kong’s image as a pluralistic and friendly city. These actions are destructive to social inclusion and the basic core values of our society.”
“Over the past few days, the EOC has been monitoring the incidents and attempting to collect the relevant facts and details. Based on the relevant media reports, we noted that derogatory remarks, such as “locusts” and “Shina”, were used against mainland Chinese tourists. The EOC will consider whether these remarks have racist connotations.” Dr. CHOW said.
Under the Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO), it is unlawful to discriminate, harass or vilify a person on the ground of the person’s race.
Dr. CHOW pointed out, “The EOC has endeavored to promote tolerance of all people, whatever race or origin, including people from mainland China. In addition, as part of the EOC’s Discrimination Law Review, we are considering whether new categories of protection should be introduced to respond to possible discrimination between people from Hong Kong and mainland China.”
“The EOC understands the strong sentiments of Hong Kong people over certain social issues caused by the influx of mainlanders. We also respect people’s rights to express their opinions and to demonstrate peacefully. However, we cannot tolerate the exercise of such rights causing an unreasonable and unacceptable interference to the rights or interests of others,” added Dr. CHOW.
For media enquiries, please contact Ms. Mariana LAW at 2106-2226.
Equal Opportunities Commission
20 February 2014