Monthly Archives: February 2015

HELPERS: A Break Through? Judge in Erwiana Case Calls for Review of Live-in Rule

Via Meredith McBride of HK Helpers Campaign

Friday morning Law Wan-tung, the 44-year-old housewife who was found guilty of abusing Erwiana Sulistyaningsih and Tutik Lestari Ningsih, was sentenced to 6 years in prison.

Speaking in the Wan Chai District Court early Friday, the Honourable Judge Amanda Woodcock made ground-breaking statements slamming the live-in rule and collection of illegal agency fees as having facilitated Erwiana’s abuse.

Judge Amanda Woodcock on the 'live in rule'

Judge Amanda Woodcock on the ‘live in rule’


“In my view, such conduct could be prevented if domestic workers were not forced to live in their employers’ homes,” Judge Woodcock said. “The choice would make all the difference.”

BLOG – John Tsang Selfie Stick Photoshop Special 2

This evening, Financial Secretary John Tsang posted a selfie with journalists on his new Facebook page. It was a special selfie in that it was shot using a timer and a selfie-stick hours after he delivered this year’s budget.

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Hong Wrong is happy to help kick off the inevitable photoshop frenzy. We have provided a PNG file for those who’d like to create their own masterpiece (scroll to the bottom).

MEDIA WATCH – Hong Kong Falls Nine Places on Latest Press Freedom Index

Hong Kong has dropped nine places on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index. Since last year, the city has dropped from 61st to 70th place in a ranking of 180 countries.

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The index “ranks the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate.” In 2002, Hong Kong ranked 18th of 134 countries.

HELPERS – Justice for Erwiana: Former Employer Guilty on 18 Charges

The packed court room broke into applause after Judge Amanda Woodcock convicted Hong Kong woman Law-Wan-tung on 18 charges for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, assault and criminal intimidation of Erwiana Sulistyaningsih and Tutik Lestari Ningsih.

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“I am sure she (Erwiana) was telling the truth,” said Judge Woodcock as she read her findings the room full of journalists, activists, and friends. “I believe her testimony in its entirety,” citing credibility as a crucial issue in her findings.

“When she left Hong Kong, she was a shadow of her former self,” said Judge Woodcock, citing Erwiana’s sunken eyes, swollen eyes and faces and wounds. Some of Erwiana’s injuries were caused by prolonged exposure to water and cleaning solutions, however over a dozen other injuries were not accounted for by this explanation. The attempt by the defence to pass Erwiana’s skin problems off as acne were “desperate and fanciful constructions,” said Woodcock.

BLOG – Yellow & Blue Clash in Tai Po: Analysis from the ‘New Frontline’ by Richard Scotford

A guest post by Richard Scotford.

To understand what happened in Tai Po yesterday you have to first know what happened in Kwun Tong last weekend.

A lot of money is now being pumped into grassroots groups that support the Blue Ribbons, which are flush with cash but short on real, quality support. In comparison, local Pro-Democracy groups are all but penniless, but have growing, hardcore support. The CCP wishes to turn these groups against one another. This is a classic CCP tactic, or create enemies and contradictions between the people so people fight people leaving the CCP to pillage unfettered and uncriticised. The CCP have being instigating this kind of class struggle since their inception and they have a lot of experience with it. However, what they don’t have experience with are genuinely civic minded groups that can’t just be locked up for a decades to remove the problem. Meaning, that in HK, their tried and tested methods don’t get the traction they’re used to on the Mainland.

CY Leung

Via Richard Scotford

Which brings us back to Kwun Tong. Last Sunday the Blue Ribbons had a stage set up. There are several videos of the speakers on stage and one can confidently say that what they were advocating wasn’t really resonating with the passers-by. What was interesting is that anyone who tried to film the stage was quickly surrounded by a number of people who blocked the camera and acted menacingly. Which beggars the question, why are they making a public stage if they don’t want their message to be filmed and recorded? Maybe the person filming wanted to promote the message? The reality is these groups are very exclusive, not inclusive. They may be on the streets spreading their message, but their target audience is generally reserved for a small group of people who think exactly like them. Any challenging questions will be quickly met with intimidation, violence and gestures for you to leave.

BLOG – Police Action in Tai Po Called into Question

‘Front-line’ protest groups, such as Frontline Democracy, the Faculty of Orchid Gardening and Civic Passion, gathered in Tai Po yesterday facing off with police and pro-government protesters led by Leticia Lee.

Six people, including five police officers were injured during scuffles and three men were arrested. Two of them remain in custody for questioning, one has been released, according to police.

In one clip of the unrest posted by @lostdutchhk, police are seen holding a man in a chokehold embrace before he apparently loses consciousness. 

HELPERS – The ‘Live-In’ Rule Hurts Helpers & Employers: It’s Time to Scrap It

By Meredith McBride of HK Helpers Campaign.

Last week, 20 immigration officers visited Ma Wan village on Park Island to arrest four domestic workers, whose crime was living under a different roof than their employers.

Two employers of one of the women were also arrested and later released on bail. The male employer told the South China Morning Post: “Some employers that have a live-in nanny make them work up to 18 hours a day and some I know don’t even get a day off.”

An immigration officer reported that the four women were arrested on suspicion of making false representations to an immigration officer. Under clause three of the standard employment contract, both parties agree that the domestic worker will live at the same premises as the employer.

According to the Hong Kong Labour Department, infringing clause three is akin to making a false representation to an immigration officer, and carries a maximum punishment of $150,000 in fines and 14 years in prison. Domestic workers accused of the same could be black-listed and deported. By contrast, in the recent trial against a local Hong Kong employer for grievous bodily harm with intent, the accused faces a maximum jail time of seven years if found guilty.