Police in Hong Kong quiz student over Facebook protest appeal
In a sign of Hong Kong nervousness over pro-Tibet protests during the Olympic torch relay on May 2, police were Friday reportedly quizzing a female student over her Facebook blog, the dpa reported.
Philosophy undergraduate Chan Hau-man, 21, was contacted by police after she publicized an event called "troublemaking for the Olympics torch relay" on the popular social networking site.
The University of Hong Kong student was phoned by police and asked for details of the planned protest and asked to meet officers at a police station Friday, the South China Morning Post reported.
Chan said she was planning a small protest with less than 50 people involved, meaning she was not legally obliged to seek police permission for her demonstration.
She told the newspaper: "I don't know if it is the police's usual practice. But I will go (to the police station) because I do not want to be uncooperative."
The relay through Hong Kong on May 2 will be closely watched as it will see the Olympic Torch return to Chinese soil for the first time since its troubled worldwide tour.
Security officials in Hong Kong have refused to say if they will stop people from displaying the Tibetan flag as the Olympic torch is paraded in the city, which has more freedom than the rest of China.
A Security Bureau spokeswoman told the South China Morning Post: "Whether it is illegal to display a particular flag on a particular occasion would depend on the circumstances. We need to consider the matter on a case-by-case basis."
A number of protest groups plan to highlight the unrest in Tibet during the Hong Kong torch relay although surveys suggest a large majority of Hong Kongers oppose anti-China protests.
The city's Beijing-appointed Chief Executive Donald Tsang is expected to be the first of 120 torch-bearers to run in the 33-kilometre relay, which will be marshalled by 3,000 police.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" arrangement guaranteeing political freedoms and the right to protest.