Since this June, there have been numerous instances of violent protests and vandalising acts in many districts of Hong Kong including but not limited to criminal damage to property, assaults of the person, riots and arson. The use of internet-based platform or medium, given its anonymous and instantaneous nature in communication as well as accessibility, have been abused by some to incite protesters to participate in unlawful activities, to promote the use of weapons and to mobilise protesters to damage targeted properties and injure targeted individuals (in particular police officers). Such acts have seriously breached public peace, and posed a grave and genuine danger to the police and members of the public.
The Secretary for Justice as guardian of the public interest applied ex parte to the Court and was granted an interim injunction on 31 October 2019 (HCA 2007/2019 – formerly High Court Intended Action 202/2019) to restrain persons from such abusive use of internet-based platform or medium.
The Internet Society Hong Kong Limited (“ISOC”) applied to discharge or vary the interim injunction.
On 15 November 2019, the Court ordered that the interim injunction continue until trial or further order, but in slightly amended terms as follows: -
(a) Wilfully disseminating, circulating, publishing or re-publishing on any internet-based platform or medium (including but not limited to LIHKG and Telegram) any material or information for the purpose of promoting, encouraging or inciting the use or threat of violence, intended or likely to cause: -
(i) bodily injury to any person unlawfully within Hong Kong; or
(ii) damage to any property unlawfully within Hong Kong.
(b) Wilfully assisting, causing, counselling, procuring, instigating, inciting, aiding or abetting others to commit any of the aforesaid acts or participate in any of the aforesaid acts.
15 November 2019Sealed Copy of Amended Interim Injunction Order (as continued) Sealed Copy of Interim Injunction Order (as continued) Sealed Copy of Inter Partes Summons Sealed Copy of Interim Injunction Order Sealed Copy of Writ of Summons