'Police using outbreak law to harass businesses' - RTHK
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'Police using outbreak law to harass businesses'

2020-04-01 HKT 18:07
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  • 'Police using outbreak law to harass businesses'
The police were accused on Wednesday of abusing new powers given to them during the coronavirus outbreak as a means to harass businesses deemed to be sympathetic towards the city's anti-government protesters.

Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung said officers have been deliberately choosing "pro-protester" restaurants to carry out spot checks on new rules aimed at keeping people apart from each other to slow the spread of Covid-19.

On Saturday, a new law came into effect requiring bars and restaurants to limit the number of customers per table to four, and for tables with customers to be placed at least 1.5 metres apart.

Police have the right to enter establishments whenever they see fit to check whether the rules are being followed, and they were out on Saturday evening as soon as the new law came into effect.

Police can order people to give them their name and address, and officers were seen checking the ID of customers in some instances.

Anyone found breaching the new rules risks a fine and imprisonment, and Yeung said the police are abusing the new law to target suspected critics of the force and the government.

"We see that the police have been abusing their power. We have been seeing the police entering different restaurants that might have supported the movement of the past 10 months and creating chaos, making a scene. And if that's not abuse, what is?", he asked.