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錯的到底是誰?

2015/5/26 — 12:44

【法政匯思短評:關於葛珮帆議員就智障人士的一些建議】
THE PROGRESSIVE LAWYERS GROUP’S SHORT COMMENTARY REGARDING LEGISLATOR ELIZABETH QUAT'S PROPOSALS IN RELATION TO INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED PERSONS

葛珮帆議員因應警方錯誤拘捕一名自閉症人士,把他誤作殺人犯,建議設立名冊,登記智障人士的資料,讓執法人員減少錯誤。這個建議引來一片訕笑,相信不會認真落實,用以應付是次事件反映的問題。

然而,建議背後可怕之處,乃是潛藏心底,把責任推向受害者的心態。葛議員將焦點放了在智障人士身上,要求他們採取主動去解決問題,卻轉移了視線,淡化了警方在是此事件上才是應該負責的一方。我們要問,錯的到底是誰?看過會面錄影紀錄,都會覺得警員的問話極有改善空間。她憑什麼要求智障人士多做一點,而不是強調警方自己先完善他們的訓練?

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而且,葛議員的方案說,「自願交出病歷,我們就不會把你好人當賊辦」;「自願交出銀包,我就不會開槍」。這是哪門子的「自願」?一個人的病歷是一項私人資料,任何人,包括政府人員,如果要取得並使用一項私人資料,必須有合理的因由。人事登記辦事處可以管有市民的身份證號碼,不代表每一個政府部門都可以隨便覽閱。政府,尤其是香港政府,還未夠資格要求市民完全信任她,把個人資料,包括自身最隱密的資訊完全奉上。著名美國私隱權學者Alan Westin用「面具」來說明私隱的重要:

「如果這塊面具被扯下,令某人的真我赤裸曝露於一個人人仍戴著面具、相信著這個面具人生的世界,他可能被片面及強制曝露的強光所灼傷。政府調查、傳媒報道,甚至出版研究引致私隱曝光,導致當事人自殺及精神崩潰的例子不勝枚舉,更加提醒了一個自由社會,唯有在出現重大社會關注的情況,才可揭開別人那塊保障他終極自主的私隱權。」[1]

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對弱勢社群的認識不足,不去將心比己,似乎不是第一天的事。過往有報道指海關人員、入境處人員虐待跨性別人士,警務人員侮辱南亞裔人士,似乎都是不了了之。目前,《種族歧視條例》不涵蓋政府在執行其職能及權利時的歧視行為,更沒有沒有任何針對性傾向及性別認同歧視的法律。

如果我們用「同」和「不同」來區分人:香港大部分人是華人,這是「同」,南亞裔人則是「不同」;四肢健全是「同」,殘疾人士則「不同」;異性戀是「同」,同志就是「不同」。無窮無盡的「同」和「不同」,國籍、來源地、膚色、身材、性別、喜好、外貌,其實每個人在某些時候都有可能屬於「不同」的那個群體。將心比心,在那個時候,你想那些所謂「同」的人們對你說,因為你「不同」,所以你有責任「自願」放棄某些權利嗎?

[1] AF Westin, Privacy and Freedom (New York: Atheneum 1968), pages 33-34

法政匯思 2015年5月26日

In response to the incident that the police wrongfully arrested a person with autism for manslaughter, Legco Member Elizabeth Quat proposed setting up a register to record the information of persons with intellectual disabilities to prevent mistakes by law enforcement agencies. The proposal has attracted ridicule, and it is unlikely to be implemented for the purposes of dealing with issues arising from the incident.

Ultimately, the problem behind the proposal is the subconsciously lurking attitude of victim-blaming. Quat has placed the focus on persons with mental disabilities, requesting that they take the initiative to solve the problem. This has diluted the attention on the fact that it was the police who should bear the responsibility. We must ask, who was the wrongdoer? After reading the record of interview, the irresistible conclusion is that the police has significant room of improvement in their way of interview. On what basis does she have a right to request persons with mental disabilities to do more, but not emphasise that the police should improve their own training first?

Furthermore, the proposal of Quat says, “Voluntarily give me your history of mental disabilities, and I will not take you wrongfully as a criminal.” “Voluntarily give me your wallet, and I will not shoot.” What kind of “voluntariness” is that? A person's medical history is his personal information. If anyone, including government officers, wants to access and use a piece of personal information, there must be a reasonable justification. The Registration of Persons Office can possess the ID numbers of our citizens, but it does not mean that every government department can browse them freely. Governments, especially the Hong Kong one, are far from qualified yet to request the citizens to place full trust on them and fully submit their personal information including the most intimate one.Alan Westin, a well-known U.S. scholar specialising in privacy rights, used the analogy of a "mask" to illustrate the importance of privacy:

“If this mask is torn off and the individual’s real self bared to a world in which everyone else still wears his mask and believes in masked performances, the individual can be seared by the hot light of selective, forced exposure. The numerous instances of suicides and nervous breakdowns resulting from such exposures by government investigation, press stories, and even published research constantly remind a free society that only grave social need can ever justify destruction of the privacy which guards the individual’s ultimate autonomy.”[1]

This is not the first example of someone showing a lack understanding and empathy towards disadvantaged groups. Past reports abound of customs and immigration officers mal-treating a transgender person, or a police officer insulting a southeast Asian person. These incidents tend not to lead to any action being taken. Currently, the Race Discrimination Ordinance does not cover discriminatory acts by the Government when performing its functions or exercising its power. There is even no law against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

If we use “same” and “different” to classify people: in Hong Kong, most people are ethnically Chinese, this is “same”, and southeast Asians are “different’; the able-bodied are “same”, and persons with disabilities are “different”; heterosexuals are “same”, and homosexuals are “different”. There are infinite “same's” and “different's”: nationalities, places of origin, colours, body shapes, genders, preferences, appearances. Sometimes, unavoidably, we have to belong to the “different” category. At that point, do you wish those “same” people to tell you, “Because you are ‘different’, you hence have a responsibility to ‘voluntarily’ give up your rights”? [1] AF Westin, Privacy and Freedom (New York: Atheneum 1968), pages 33-34

Progressive Lawyers Group

26 May 2015

(文章標題由編輯所擬)

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