Hong Kong bans face masks21. Oktober 2019
Hong Kong bans face masks
Hong Kong, 21.10.2019
After the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have lasted for four months, the country’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has announced a ban on „any face cover that is likely to prevent identification“ during public demonstrations.
„We believe the new law will have a deterrent effect on masked, violent demonstrators and troublemakers,“ Lam said during a live press conference on Friday, adding, „Hong Kong is not in a state of emergency, but this city is in serious danger.
Hong Kong demonstrators wear face masks and use lasers to counter facial recognition systems, some of which are able to detect and identify people within minutes.
The Hong Kong government had previously sprayed demonstrators with blue paint to make them easier to find later. Now any demonstrator caught with a mask will face up to a year in prison and a fine of about $3,200.
Experts, however, point out that the new ban will further fuel the resistance of the demonstrators. In their opinion, it will be difficult to enforce, as there are exceptions for citizens who wear face masks or are ill as part of their work.
„What if the guy says he’s wearing a mask because he has a cold and shows us a medical certificate,“ a Hong Kong police chief inspector told the South China Morning Post. “ It will take a lot of time and energy to find out if he is really sick or not. „