A government spokesman told Reuters in response to emailed questions: “Anyone who has reasons to believe that his or her safety is threatened may approach the police for assistance.”
The Law Society said in a statement “it takes a very serious view of the alleged act of intimidation” and has reported the matter to police.
While the Law Society is seen as more conservative than the barristers’ Bar Association, both bodies have traditionally had a watchdog role over legal changes, and are represented on a panel that recommends judges’ appointments.
Four of the 11 candidates, including Ross, vying for five council seats in Tuesday’s election had been considered relatively outspoken, which has raised fears among some government officials of an emerging political agenda.
The Law Society election has rarely made international news but has grabbed headlines in recent days, as pro-Beijing media and Hong Kong officials have warned the group to stay out of politics.
Hong Kong’s government would consider cutting ties with the Law Society if it were to be “trumped by politics”, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday.
Some lawyers said Ross’ move was rare for a generally low-profile group drawn from solicitors in the commercial sector, calling it a sign of the tension in the city.
China’s People Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, has said the Law Society should not become a “politicised group”, and has called the Bar Association a “running rat”.
When Beijing regained control of Hong Kong, it guaranteed extensive social and commercial freedoms would remain under a “one country, two systems” model. Fears that those freedoms were under threat sparked months of sometimes violent protests in the city in 2019.
Source: Channel News Asia