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Hong Kong: From Sex to Police Scandal

It has been 10 days that Edison Chen’s sex photos scandal occupied the front page of local newspapers (ESWN has summed up local newspapers report everyday.) The issue is not only a sex scandal about various prominent local pop stars, but also an outburst in response to the tension caused by the “indecent and obscene censorship” system and the police’s abuse of power.

I have written a post at interlocals.net on the political implications of the issue and have been writing citizen reports in Chinese at inmediahk.net. In brief, because the victims of the scandal refused to stand out for a testimony at the beginning, the police did not treat the case as the “stealing of private data”. Instead, they applied the Control of Indecent and Obscene Article Ordinance (OAO) to crack down on the distribution of the photos on the Internet. Local netizens were agitated, when the police prosecuted the first netizen suspect who had uploaded one of the photos and when the magistrate rejected his request for bail. The suspect is now being held in custody for eight weeks until the next hearing.

Netizen from Hong Kong Golden Forum designed a poster stating that “We want fair treatment, Not scapegoat!” and launched an online fund raising for putting up an advisement against police abuse of power. A new internet forum, the Coalition of Hong Kong online community has been set up to discuss about fund raising and protest organizing matters.

Then the head of the police force, Tang King-sing, added oil to the fume by claiming that the possession of the photos and e-mail, mobile and other P2P sharing of the photos may violate the OAO.

Diumanpark exclaimed:

香港大鑊了,上有淫審處,將不雅物品的名單無限擴大,下有警務處,不用甚麼發放意圖的明確證據,就可以勤快地捉拿收藏者,這簡直是將廿三條用另一種形式實現了…

Hong Kong is in deep shit, up there, we had the Obscene Article Tribunal which keeps on adding to the list of obscene articles; down there, we have the police department which takes action against netizens without concrete evidence that they have the intention to distribute the photos. This is another form of the Article 23…

我很相信,全世界(當然包括香港)有90%男人曾經管有過淫褻及不雅照片,剩下10%未曾管有過的,則因性壓抑過度而有很 大機會成為性罪犯、連環殺手等危險人物。為了應付這群犯罪的男人,政府實有必要放棄文娛區和政府總部計劃,用西九和天馬艦的地皮興建超級監獄,安置如此龐 大的積犯。

I believe that in the whole world (including HK) 90% of the male population has once possessed indecent and obscene photos, for the remaining 10%, they are probably criminals and serial killers because of sexual repression. In order to deal with all these male criminals, the government has to abandon the construction of Western Kowloon Cultural District and new government building and use the land for a super size prison.

Obviously, the case is a selective prosecution, as most of the people who have uploaded or possessed the photos are still free. Lamtw asked:

我不明白的,是為何警方這麼緊張。警方可否解釋一下,為何要這麼緊張,找國際刑警幫助,是不是因為涉及英皇集團的藝人?

I don’t understand why the police force is so high-sounding this time. Can they explain why they have to seek help from the International Criminal Police Organization? Because the issue involves pop stars from the Emperor?

老實說,如果是真相,發佈這些真相,的確犯了發佈淫褻及不雅物品的法例,但是香港有數以N計的網站,每日有網友上載這些相片,有很多為了逃避本地執法,將資料寄存在外地。為什麼涉及「陳冠希」和「女星」便這麼緊張?

To be frank, if the photos are real, the distributors have violated the OAO, but there are numerous websites in Hong Kong and netizens upload similar photos to those sites everyday. Some would have the server overseas. Why do the police become so high-sounding in the crack down when the issue involves “Edison Chen” and other “actresses”?

Evchk, a localized version of wikipedia on internet big issue, pointed out that the police action and the court’s ruling is another case of “the poor is XX under the law”. Netizen has designed a protest picture against the legal system.

Tang King posted a recent court case to show how unfair the court judgment is. In the case [KCCC765/08] a car seller was in suspect of paying three under-aged girls for having sex and taping the sex scene. The suspect was charged for 16 criminal offences. However, he managed to bail out with HKD$40,000.

誘姦,拍片,令人身心備受永久重創的強姦疑犯,為甚麼竟比只發開了十二張並非自創,而且亦未定不雅/ 淫褻的照片更有資格保釋?…
請告訴我:為甚麼單憑數張白金信用卡,數十萬元卡數欠款,便無視被告有工作在身,有能力還款的事實,而一口咬定他別有用心?

A rape suspect of seductive rapes and who had video tapped the process can enjoy bail out, while a distributor of 12 photos (editor note: the suspect has only uploaded one photos) can’t.
Please tell me, why the possession of a few golden visa cards and half a million debt would lead to the conclusion that the suspect has bad intention, while neglecting the fact that he has proper work to do and can deal with his debt?

On Feb 5, inmediahk.net organized an action to visit the first netizen suspect and offered help for legal assistance. There is a joint statement on the website demanding 1. a court revealed of the bail arrangement; 2. a clarification of the nature of the case as “stealing of private data”; 3. a reform on the Control of Indecent and Obscene article Ordinance and system in order to avoid police abuse of power; 4. The resignation of Tang King-sing for launching the selective prosecution and creating such chaos. A video on the action has been posted on youtube :

Even though 7 people have been arrested and the police claimed that they had found the source, the problem is yet to be solved as the Internet is borderless. Confronting the netizens’ outrage, on Feb 5, the assistant head of the police force tried to clarify that possession and sharing (among friends) of the obscene photos would not violated the OAO. But it seems that the messages are too late and too weak.

On the other hand, some netizens still blamed Edison and set up a facebook group. On 5 of Feb, Edison Chen had finally broken the silence , apologized to the actresses involved and asked netizens to destroy their copies of the photos.

From the very first day, Kurk compared the issue with the Japanese Comic “the Death Note” that everyone can be the “Killer” in the Internet era. The source of origin has lost its meaning, someone else, probably away from Hong Kong, has taken up the “Killer” role in distributing the photos. 200 more photos were distributed via emails and P2P communication devices yesterday (Feb 6, 2008). It is quite clear that the Killer wants to challenge the local police force.

Kendo 1231 pointed out that the most important task is no longer catching the “Killer” as the photos have taken effect on the society already:

捕捉到奇拿否並不最重要,最重要是如何重整香港追星族的震撼和給予了她們什麼影響。藝人亦是人,其有愛恨七情六慾,大家無須要投石扮衛道,關上門你在私下亦是一樣。當然藝人成為形象偽人便再已經沒有形象可言,代言人資格可休矣,這回合社會已經要接受沖擊。

The most important task is not to catch the “Killer” now but to address the effect of the photos on the “fans”. Pop stars are also human being, they have love and sex, we don’t have to pretend to be moralists. Behind the door, we are doing the same thing. Of course when the fans realized that the “images” of the pop stars are faked, they can’t be the spoke person anymore. The society has to undertake such effect.
  • dan9

    look at the specially made video, he didnt really mean to make an apology, what he is doing is trying to get rid of the trouble for the future when the starlets are going to sue him for compension as he is careless about keeping the photo as showing off to his friends. here’s a hot debate over his video:

    http://www.littleoslo.com/cnt/home/?p=1222

  • Kira’s fan

    From this incident, this rich kid has managed to destroyed the careers and possible marriage of all the female artists involved, which they all worked very hard for. He definitely should NOT be allowed to be involved in the entertainment industry anymore! This music industry WILL carry on without him, he is not needed! To be honest, He is NOT that talented anymore, he’s only here because he has money! The longer he stays around, the longer people remember this incident and gives a bad reputation to other artists! I urge all music labels and TV/radio stations to isolate him because he is simply not sorry. What he said in his video is probably taught by lawyers. Even I know that and you see it in Hollywood movies. Good bye Rich and Inch kid! Go back to America and you can carry on and pretend to be black!

    look at the specially made video, he didn’t really mean to make an apology, what he is doing is trying to get rid of the trouble for the future when the starlets are going to sue him for money as he is careless about keeping the photo as showing off to his friends. here’s a hot debate over his video:

    http://www.littleoslo.com/cnt/home/?p=1222

  • Bill John

    I agree. He should retire. He’s created too much damage to be taken seriously again. He’s clearly trying to be a rebel, and trying too hard at that. Search him on this ManagedQ and you’ll see it’s true.

  • Oiwan Lam

    i think it is ok for anyone to take the photos with consensus. but they have to be extremely careful about that as it may destroy their lives once the photos or videos leak out.

    on the other hand, there are too many actresses having “school girl” or “kidult” type of “purity” images, which is highly unrealistic and hypocritical. all the women involved are mid twenties, they are independent and it is ok for them to have sexual relation. people shouldn’t make such a big fuss about that. when i was younger, many actresses took adult video or erotic picture for playboy magazine.

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  • Christine

    I don’t understand why people are making such a fuss about those sex pictures.This is so childish.It’s unfair to Edision if we only blame him.Both sides has their own fault.I agree Edison had taken those pictures ..but what about those actresses?For god’s sake,they knew there was a camera there.They knew what would happen if this photos leaked out.They are not kids.I am only 17 years old and I am fully aware of what’d happen if I take those pictures.About the public apology of Edison and Gillian,no matter they are sincere or not,It has nothing to do with you or me.As a matter of fact,I don’t think they should make a public apology as well,except for Edison( he only needs to apologise to his family,those actresses and his girlfriend)They are actors and actresses,their job is filming,not entertaining you people.You guys are expecting too much from others.
    If you think they should receive some punishment.,They had already received theirs.Their body were being seen by the whole world and their sex pictures( oral sex) had been viewed by hundreds and thousands of people.Don’t you think they had had enough?Honestly,it doesnt really matter who they sleep with,as long as they produce good music,i consider them great singers.

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  • Steaky

    Why everyone is talking about Gillian Chung after she claimed herself was too silly and naive? Maybe they should see the big picture.
    more here

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