中文版本
         

HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR

4

4/F Kam Tak Building, 20 Mercer Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

電話Phone: (852) 2811-4488    傳真Fax: (852) 2802-6012

電郵地址Email: contact@hkhrm.org.hk    網址Website: http://www.hkhrm.org.hk



ANNOUNCING THE START OF THE

HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR

VOTER INTIMIDATION HOTLINE


Press statement for immediate release
Enquiries: 28114488

(Hong Kong: 19 May 2004) During the last week there have been unprecedented reports of threats to the integrity of Hong Kong electoral system. Voters have reported being told that they must enter voting booths with mobile phone cameras and photograph their ballot paper to prove that they have voted for a particular party. They have also described threats to the personal safety of relatives if they did not vote in a particular way.

In response to these frightening disclosures, and in order to help the community to fight back against this type of intimidation, Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor has decided to set up a 24 hour -Voter Intimidation Hotline. 

This Voter Intimidation Hotline will commence tomorrow morning and will continue in operation until the evening of 13 September 2004. To start with, the hotline will serve only within certain hours, that is, every Monday to Friday from 11 AM to 8 PM. We will regularly reassess the situation and if necessary, make it a 24-hour service with voice mails recording.  The telephone number of the Hotline will be 3110-4588.

Bearing in mind the principle of protecting sources of information and personal privacy, the Human Rights Monitor will publicise the reports received of voter intimidation and follow them up with the responsible authorities, including the police, ICAC and Electoral Commission.

The Monitor also asks that Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing and the Electoral Affairs Commission under his chairmanship should urgently re-assess the voting procedures and arrangements in poll stations to check possible loopholes and ensure that no abuse is possible.

The Monitor specifically calls for the banning of mobile phones from voting booths to ensure that the recent threats cannot be carried out. We support the proposal by the Hon. Andrew Wong Wang-Fat for urgent legislation to permit such a ban to be implemented.  The practicalities of arranging for mobile phones to be deposited at the entry to the polling station and reclaimed after voting are simple, and the measure would restore confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.