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Civil Aid Service holds parade

The Civil Aid Service (CAS) held the Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Establishment of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and CAS 70th Anniversary Parade today at the Police College.   Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki officiated at the ceremony and acted as the reviewing officer for the parade.   To demonstrate national identity and patriotic sentiment for the motherland, the CAS has fully adopted from today, the Chinese-style foot drill that requires exacting standards, and demonstrated the drill's protocols for the first time in the parade.   As an auxiliary force under the Security Bureau, the CAS has been honouring the pledge of "provide emergency relief, serve the community" and has been rendering immediate assistance during emergencies to protect Hong Kong citizens.   During the COVID-19 epidemic, the CAS has remained steadfast on the front line of the anti-epidemic operations by rapidly assisting in setting up a number of community isolation faci

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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124 COVID-19 cases reported

The Centre for Health Protection today said it is investigating 124 additional COVID-19 cases. More cases were detected in Kwai Chung Estate. There are also more than 70 preliminary positive cases.   Among the newly reported cases, 33 are related to Kwai Chung Estate, bringing the total number of positive and preliminary positive cases in the estate to 276.   One more positive case was found after an earlier confirmed case occurred at Glory Court, Tsuen Wan Garden, both of them live in units 5 but on two different floors. The centre has co-ordinated with related government departments and conducted an inspection today.    It was preliminarily considered that vertical transmission of virus via pipes is involved.   The centre will issue quarantine orders to residents of unit 5 on all floors of the building who resided there during the incubation period of the relevant cases and transfer them to a quarantine facility.   As it is possible that virus might be ejected from the open