A Hong Kong court on Friday November 22nd suspended its previous judgement to overturn a government ban on wearing face masks at protests, allowing police to ban masks for another week around contested local elections in the city-state Chinese territory.
The court had ruled on Monday that the ban, imposed in October, to prevent anti-government protesters from hiding their identity, trespassed on fundamental rights more than was reasonably necessary, AP has reported.
The government had appealed to demand a freeze on the ruling while it appealed to higher courts, according to miamiherald.com.
On Friday, local broadcaster RTHK said the High Court agreed to grant a one-week suspension in view of the “highly exceptional circumstances that Hong Kong is currently facing.” China’s parliament criticised the court ruling this week, in what some have seen as an indication that the court might overrule the verdict,
Many Hong Kong protesters have defied the ban, and during afternoon rallies on Friday, some chanted “We have the right to wear masks.”
The city’s new police commissioner, Tang Ping-keung, told reporters that police would be deployed at polling stations on Sunday, ready to handle any outbreak of violence “without hesitation.”