Ma Ngok: front's likely demise not unexpected - RTHK
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Ma Ngok: front's likely demise not unexpected

2021-08-13 HKT 09:30
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  • People take part in a rally organised by the Civil Human Rights Front in 2015. File photo: RTHK
    People take part in a rally organised by the Civil Human Rights Front in 2015. File photo: RTHK
A political scholar says he's not surprised at the news the Civil Human Rights Front is contemplating disbanding, noting that the protest organiser has been under attack from critics while also being unable to carry out its usual activities.

Reports say the front is meeting on Friday, with disbandment on the agenda. The umbrella group has seen several of its constituent members leave in recent months, including the Civic Party and the Democratic Party, as well as the recently disbanded Professional Teachers' Union.

Speaking on RTHK's Hong Kong Today programme on Friday, Ma Ngok, from the Chinese University, said the news was not a surprise.

"I think it is not totally unexpected," he told RTHK's Samantha Butler. "I think for the past year it hasn't been able to organise any major activities and it has been under a lot of attack, so I think in the current political atmosphere it is not totally unexpected that it would choose to disband itself."

The front is best known as the organiser of the annual July 1 march, but the protest was banned last year because of the pandemic. The front did not seek permission for a march this year.

Police sent a series of questions to the front earlier this year on its financial and operational background, which the group declined to answer. The front's convenor, Figo Chan, is serving an 18-month prison sentence for unauthorised assembly over a protest in 2019.

Critics have attacked the front over its role in the 2019 anti-extradition unrest, with some accusing it of breaching the national security law.