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Jason Chao turns the tables on the gov’t

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Since being detained by the Judiciary Police, Jason Chao is turning the tables on the government after being accused of obstructing Wu Bangguo’s (Chairman of the National People’s Congress) visit in the past week.
The president of the New Macau Association, who was filming the submission of a petition last Thursday allegedly as director of the “Macau Concealers” (MC) publication, said in a press release yesterday that the government did not allow him to cover the event. 
“As early as the 18th of February 2013 [two days before the visit by Wu], the MC tried to contact the Government Information Bureau (GCS) to register for the official events of the state leader’s visit.  The GCS replied to the MC that the registration period had closed. The MC then asked why they had not been informed about the registration period. The GCS claimed that they published the information on the Information Broadcast System (IBS). The MC immediately requested access to the IBS in a bid to know and register for the events sooner next time. Unexpectedly, the GCS said the MC must be observed for a period of time before granting access to the IBS. The MC immediately questioned GCS for the factors, length of time and the regulation (if any) regarding the so-called ‘observation.’  But the GCS has not yet responded to the MC on this issue.”
 “The MC was covering the action of two activists outside of the Macau Tower (where Wu was about to visit), not the official event inside the Macau Tower [the Convention and Exhibition Centre], thus ‘registration’ was by no means required. Secondly, prior to the arrest, Chao witnessed coaches stopping by at the entrance of the Macau Tower to load/offload groups of tourists.  Furthermore, the place was not cordoned or declared off-limits to the public by the police. Chao’s filming outside of the Macau Tower should have been unrestricted, not to mention the absence of the need for a qualification or permission.”
The activist accuses GCS of “Distortion of Facts” as well as “Release of False Information.” “Roy Choi, Vice Director of the MC, sought assistance from the GCS about Director Chao’s detention. The GCS passed on a response from the PJ to Choi that Chao had been doing ‘something inconsistent with news reporting.’ And, at the press conference held by the PJ the next day, the PJ insisted that Chao had ‘handed out [petition] flyers’ on the spot of the arrest. In contrary to the fact that Chao was just filming by holding a camcorder while he did not and could not hand out flyers simultaneously.”
The activist also charged PJ of “Arbitrary Arrest” for putting him in solitary confinement for five hours without giving a reason. “Chao demanded the reason (crimes allegedly committed) for being detained. A PJ officer replied ‘it’s not about a crime’… This case is beyond doubt an instance of arbitrary arrest - a practice prohibited by the Basic Law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) ratified in Macau.”
“In addition, despite the lack of connection between Chao and a crime, he was required to be photographed and have his fingerprints and palm prints captured as a suspect or a criminal. The mandatory collection of excessive personal data, in practice, acts as a psychological deterrent against citizen reporters and those who often film or take photos in public places,” the press release issued jointly by New Macau and Macau Concealers states.

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