Rival lawmakers clash over protest site mediation - RTHK
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Rival lawmakers clash over protest site mediation

2019-07-16 HKT 12:23
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  • Rival lawmakers clash over protest site mediation
A war of words erupted on air on Tuesday after pro-government lawmaker Ann Chiang accused opposition lawmaker Au Nok-hin of adding to the chaos with his actions during recent protests.

Chiang, a member of the biggest pro-Beijing DAB party in Hong Kong who was appearing on RTHK's Millennium programme along with Au, said his appearance with a loudspeaker at clash sites had only made things worse.

She said Au, standing between police officers and protesters, failed to act as a mediator, and his presence actually made things worse.

"You try to mediate? Can you indeed mediate? After spending so much time, what can you eventually mediate? You didn't succeed in mediation, instead you triggered the actions," she said.

The pro-government lawmaker said Au was responsible for the chaotic situation and should have arrested for obstructing police operation.

But Au denied these charges and defended his actions.

"As a legislator, I believe that our mediation could be beneficial to both sides, to avoid any violence at the end of the protest," he said.

Speaking after the programme, Au stressed that he thinks it's his duty, as well as the duty of other pan-democrats, to be at the site to negotiate with the police commanders and avoid potential clashes.

He said his mediation was successful in the protest in Sha Tin on Sunday, when police had promised not to charge towards protesters on Yuen Wo Road and that could "buy some time for protesters to leave or to decide what they can do rather than being beaten by batons".

Police had also issued warnings earlier that some lawmakers had made their operations harder.

But Au said he will still be going out to the sites of future protests if he's worried that clashes and violence may happen.

He also said Chiang's call for the police to deny permission for protests if the organisers cannot assure they are peaceful was a denial of rights to freedom of assembly and expression.