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Bar Association slams Occupy Central for flouting injunctions to clear streetsProtesters criticised by Bar for flouting court orders, as doctors sign petition to end sit-insEmily Tsang, Lai Ying-kit and Joyce Ng29 October 2014The Bar Association says Occupy protesters’ defiance of injunctions to clear the streets is eroding the rule of law and sets a bad precedent.In a statement, the association said it viewed “with dismay” recent calls for open defiance of the injunctions to clear protest sites in Mong Kok and Admiralty.It said deliberate defiance of a court order committed en masse would result in a direct affront to the rule of law.“Some prominent politicians - several of whom are legally qualified - have contemptuously dismissed criticisms of prolonged occupation in breach of court orders,” it said. “The HKBA must strongly disagree with them.”The law underlying the injunctions was not “evil” and by violating it protesters had “overstepped the mark”, it added.Benny Tai Yiu-ting, an Occupy co-organiser and a legal academic, said he respected the Bar’s view. Debate was needed on how to strike a balance between the rule of law and civil disobedience once the Occupy movement was over, he said.“I will read the Bar Association’s statement carefully …and discuss it in a wider legal context,” Tai said.Another professional body, the Hong Kong Medical Association, has delayed taking a stand on the pro-democracy movement, with physicians citing a deep split in their ranks, despite a petition from doctors asking protesters to end their sit-in.The petition, signed by 552 doctors and medical professors, called for protesters to cease blocking major roads.It was published on the front page of yesterday’s Sing Tao Daily after association president Dr Louis Shih Tai-cho halted a survey of members’ views on the protest movement, saying the situation was “too emotional”.“The opinion has been divided among the council, the medical industry and society,” he said.Shih said he has been attacked by members on both sides of the issue for not pushing the group to take a stance.He said younger doctors were more likely to support Occupy and many medical students had volunteered for medical tents at protest camps.The association would consider conducting a new poll after a month, he said.Last week, more than 600 doctors released a joint statement supporting the protest. A group of senior doctors visited Admiralty to back the student movement.Many doctors wrote on social media sites that yesterday’s petition did not represent their views.
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