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CE begins visit to Xi'an

Chief Executive Carrie Lam left Chongqing for Xi'an today and began her visit programme in Shaanxi Province.   After arriving in Xi'an, she met Shaanxi Governor Zhao Yide and attended a lunch he hosted.   Mrs Lam said she was pleased to visit Shaanxi for the first time as Chief Executive and congratulated Shaanxi on the successful hosting of the 14th National Games.   She expressed hope that Shaanxi would share its valuable experience, enabling the governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Guangdong Province and the Macau SAR to do a good job in hosting the 15th National Games in 2025.   Noting that Shaanxi is a key link for the nation's Belt & Road Initiative with its rich cultural history, the Chief Executive said the two places can build on the close trade and economic ties to enhance collaboration to contribute to the initiative and promote arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world.   She added that the Hong Kong

Unlawful assembly appeal issued

Police today said they had banned a public meeting planned on Hong Kong Island tomorrow and urged the public to refrain from participating in, advertising or publicising any unauthorised assemblies and prohibited gatherings.   The force also said any group gatherings taking place during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can also increase the risk of spreading the virus.   A prohibition notice was issued to the organiser who filed a notification to hold the public meeting concerned after considering public safety, public order, people’s rights and freedom and the serious health risks brought by the ongoing pandemic to society.   Police had reasonable grounds to believe that holding the event would pose considerable threats to public health and lives.   The decision was upheld by the Appeal Board on Public Meetings & Processions after an appeal hearing.       Police reiterated that taking part in an unauthorised assembly risks committing offences under the Public Order Ordinance, and is liable to a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment.   Participating in public gatherings may also breach the Prevention & Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation regarding prohibited group gatherings.       Additionally, recent court rulings on two cases of unauthorised assembly in 2019 show that participating in an unauthorised assembly, whether involving violence or not, breaks the law. People involved in the case were eventually sentenced to different imprisonment terms.   In a case of knowingly participating in an unauthorised assembly on June 4 last year, the defendants were also sentenced to prison for four to 10 months.       Police will deploy adequate manpower in relevant locations tomorrow and take resolute action to enforce the law, including making arrests.
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