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Special schools stage variety show

A variety show involving 62 special schools across the city was held today to showcase students’ diverse talent and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s establishment.   The Education Bureau explained that the aim of the large-scale joint school event, titled “Variety Show of Special School Students - Let Your Love Shine 2022”, is to enhance the public’s understanding of special education in Hong Kong.   About 100 students joined the performances that included a dragon dance, fitness exercises, martial arts, a wheelchair dance and a piano trio. In addition, the music video of the theme song, Let Love Shine 2022, sung by students from the 62 schools, was played.   To enable those with hearing and visual impairments to enjoy the festivities, the show was webcast live and barrier-free with sign language interpretation and audio descriptions.   Addressing the ceremony, Secretary for Education Choi Yuk-lin said the Government supports schoo

Protecting human rights assured

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today emphasised its full commitment to the protection of human rights to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.   Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang led a delegation to attend the committee’s meetings on the Hong Kong SAR's fourth report in the light of the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) on July 7, 8 and 12 and he introduced the implementation of the ICCPR in the Hong Kong SAR.   In Mr Tsang's closing remarks, he stated that human rights are guaranteed constitutionally by both the Constitution and the Basic Law and are underpinned by the rule of law and an independent judiciary.   He noted that the provisions of the ICCPR as applied to the Hong Kong SAR have already been incorporated into local law by the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance. Both the Central People's Government and the Hong Kong SAR Government are determined to make "one country, two systems" a continued success.   During the three-day meeting, the government delegation answered the committee's questions and dispelled the committee's concerns and misunderstandings about the human rights conditions in the Hong Kong SAR.   The Hong Kong SAR Government pointed out that national security always falls within the purview of the central authorities and that the country has the right to legislate for the matter under the “one country, two systems” principle.   It explained that Article 4 or the National Security Law clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR, whereas the rights and freedoms which Hong Kong SAR residents enjoy under, inter alia, the Basic Law and the provisions of the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong, shall be protected in accordance with the law.   However, many rights and freedoms recognised in the ICCPR are not absolute, and may be restricted for reasons of national security or public order, etc.   Any law enforcement actions taken by Hong Kong law enforcement agencies are based on evidence, strictly according to the law, for the acts of the people or entities concerned, and have nothing to do with their background.   It added that trial by a panel of three judges instead of by a jury under specified circumstances will not undermine the defendants' right to a fair trial, and judges will deliver the reasons for the verdicts to ensure open justice.   Meanwhile, the Hong Kong SAR Government reiterated that Police's use of force during the 2019 serious violence was responsive, not abusive.   It pointed out that Police are under a statutory duty to take lawful measures to maintain public order and public safety. There are stringent guidelines on the use of force that are consistent with the international human rights norms and standards.   Regarding the concerns raised by the committee on the Hong Kong SAR's improved electoral system, the Hong Kong SAR Government said it strongly opposed the ungrounded accusations that were quoted during the meeting.   It noted that through establishing a democratic system that reflects the actual situation of Hong Kong, corresponds to the requirements of implementing “one country, two systems” and manifests Hong Kong's characteristics, the improved electoral system of the Hong Kong SAR puts in place solid institutional safeguards to ensure full implementation of the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”.   This is also conducive to enhancing the effective governance of the Hong Kong SAR, thereby achieving good governance for the public good and long-term stability and safety, it added.

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Railway settlement exceeds limit

The construction works of a relocation project in Kowloon have been suspended after a settlement monitoring checkpoint exceeded the limit, the Government said today.   The project relocates supporting operational facilities of Tsim Sha Tsui Fire Station Complex, Fire Services Club and other fire services accommodations to To Wah Road in Kowloon.   The Government explained that the readings recorded in a settlement monitoring checkpoint installed inside the railway tunnel between Kowloon Station and Olympic Station of the MTR Tung Chung Line had reached 20.27mm on September 7. The preset trigger level for works suspension is 20mm.   For the sake of prudence, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation suspended relevant works within the railway protection area on the same day.   The Buildings Department and the Architectural Services Department deployed staff to inspect the affected railway tunnel and confirmed that it is structurally safe.   The Electrical & Mechanical Services