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TTNG Arrested in Hong Kong

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, May 9, 2017.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    TTNG were arrested in Hong Kong:

    Hong Kong police confirmed to the BBC that several detentions had been made at the venue but would not give further details.

    Under Hong Kong immigration law, the band members could be charged with working without the required permit, while the concert agency could be charged with hiring the bands as illegal workers.

  2. So how similar is this to the SXSW controversy that was happening here?
  3. Maybevictor

    @maybevictor Prestigious

    The main thing with the SXSW controversy is that SXSW used the threat of deportation as a way to control the shows that SXSW artists played during their time in austin, here it seems more like a government crackdown
  4. mikalcheuk


    From the show organiser/livehouse. It is pathetic to see how much public resources and manpower are invested into shutting down an independent music venue. Ironically, a rape incident occurred in the same area on the same night of the crackdown.....


    A brief account of the charges and the issues of work permit, the use of industrial buildings as well as HA’s future.

    【2017.05.09】We would like to give a brief account of the charges made against persons connected with the raid on Hidden Agenda (hereafter ‘HA’) last night (8 May 2017) and explain the issues of work permit, the use of industrial buildings as well as HA’s future.
    HA's founder Chung-Wo Hui and a member of the audience were charged with obstructing public officers in carrying out their duties. In addition, Hui was charged by the Immigration Department with aiding and abetting breach of conditions of stay, employing illegal workers, failing to inspect the identity document of illegal workers, and failing to keep employee’s records. HA staff member Yuen was charged with assaulting a public officer undertaking law enforcement duties.
    Currently, many people simply see the incident as HA breaking the law by hiring foreign “illegal workers” to perform in Hong Kong. We would like to stress that HA has all along tried to apply for work permits for foreign artists, but getting through the application procedure is far from easy. Our application process is further complicated by the fact that government departments have designated HA as an unlawful operation. As a result, we have seen increasing number of our work permit applications being rejected. The Immigration Department has now characterised HA as an unlawfully operated venue and vowed to step up investigation into every act that HA invites to Hong Kong in the future.
    Right from the start, HA has had to withstand “special treatment” from various government departments, ranging from the Tobacco Control Office, the Police, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the Lands Department and the Fire Services. They have all tried to shut us down by saying we have breached various ordinances and licensing requirements. HA has relocated 3 times to date and the undue scrutiny continues at each of the premises.
    Some have questioned why HA doesn’t simply obtain the relevant licenses to operate legally. The reason is that operating out of an industrial building is the only viable option for a venue of HA’s size and scale due to exorbitant rent in Hong Kong. However, relevant lease laws made in 1967 and 1973 stipulate that industrial premises shall only be used for industrial work/storage purposes. This makes it impossible for us to obtain the relevant licenses to operate legally. We are forced to breach the lease condition by operating in an industrial building and this traps us in a vicious cycle whereby HA is unable to obtain work permit for artists to perform at the venue.
    Over the years we have explored different options to overcome the challenges presented to us. At our current location, for example, we tried to make the venue legal by obtaining the food factory license so that we can run a takeaway food stall as well as a live house. But as the latest incident shows, the authorities would still find different reasons to try and shut us down.
    The current legislations on the use of industrial buildings are inevitably limiting our operation, and there is no way out even if we move to another industrial building. As the legal situation stands now, our operation may have repercussions for friends of HA, bands and members of the audience. The situation is dire for HA and we are exploring what to do next. At HA, we only wish to contribute to the cultural landscape in Hong Kong by bringing high quality musicians and artists from around the world to the city. Is there anything else we can still do to keep this going? Read Also: Hong Kong Free Press HKFP-UK & US performers among 7 arrested in fresh raid at Hidden Agenda HKFP- ‘Factory culture’ and the survival of indie music in Hong Kong
    扭耳仔 New Ears Music - "In HK, getting a Public Entertainment Licence in factory buildings is hopeless" (In Chinese)
    New Ears Music - Summary on Hong Kong Factory Building issues (In Chinese)
  5. brunascle


    They were released on bail and are heading back to the UK. They have to return to Hong Kong on June 5 to report to the Immigration Department. (via Facebook)
  6. devenstonow


    that's not at all what sxsw did. it's in there to shield them from liability if something like this happened. because foreign artists at SXSW were there legally through whatever visa they use with SXSW as the sponsor; playing anything not a part of SXSW (with the visa most SXSW artists had) is a violation of that visa, and as sponsors they'd be held liable if someone violated that visa.

    not trying to justify the restrictions on the visa (a word I used way too many goddamn times in this post), but what SXSW did was the right move for them/the future of the festival
    scottlechowicz likes this.