Thousands of legal sector professionals staged the sixth march, dressed in black, since 1997 and the second in two months, urging an end to political prosecutions, for the Secretary of Justice to retain its independence and excuse herself from prosecution decision to avoid conflict of interest, and for the government to form an independent commission of inquiry to investigate events that occurred during the anti-extradition bill protests.
The lawyers gathered at the Court of Final Appeal before marching in silence to Department of Justice’s office on Wednesday from around 12:50 pm. Legal sector lawmaker Dennis Kwok said over 3,000 joined, which was more than the number of people marching on June 6.
The legal profession asked Teresa Cheng, Secretary for Justice, and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Leung Cheuk-yan, to come out to have a diaglogue. However, after waiting for more than an hour, Cheng and Leung did not respond.
Martin Lee, former Chairman of the Bar Association, said that the government’s indiscriminate arrest undermined the spirit of the rule of law. Protesters were immediately arrested and prosecuted while attacking mobs can walk away and not prosecuted. The selective prosecution by the Department of Justice is unacceptable.
Senior Counsel Chan King-sang, former Chairman of the Bar Association, said that to resolve current social unrest, the government should set up an independent commission of inquiry that the public can trust to seek the truth of the incident. The public has little confidence in the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC).