Is it fair for Hong Kong's government to ban face-masks?

Thinking-Question.jpg

There have been fresh protests in Hong Kong after the government has brought in a ban on face-masks worn by protestors. This ban does not apply for people wearing masks for health reasons, or if required by their job.

Protestors have been wearing them for a number of reasons - to protect their identity as their actions may carry risks of arrest or imprisonment, to protect themselves against tear-gas and other physical risks, and also might give them a sense of identity with each other.

However, the government and police might see it as a way of hiding and committing acts they would not normally do if they could be identified and recognised.

You can see more about the face masks here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-49938843

And also read more about the ban here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-49931598

We already have a post from a student about whether you would wear a face-mask if you were protesting - you can find this in the Editors' Picks.

However, do you think it's fair for the government to ban face-masks for protestors, or should protestors be allowed to wear them?

Some things to think about:

Banning face-masks for protestors has not been immediately successful - as you can see from the protests in the second news article above.

Some people might say banning face masks is OK, because people should be responsible for their actions, but it could be the start of many more laws which could take away people's rights.

Remember, this ban does not apply for people wearing masks for health reasons, or if required by their job.

Give reasons for your answers in the comments below!

Comments (48)

  • Brompton Westbrook logo cheerful_temperature | Brompton Westbrook Primary School A
    07 Oct 2019

    Hell nah . The face masks are helping HongKong citizens protest against China but the HongKong government are ruining their peoples chances

    Reply to this comment
  • Brompton Westbrook logo reflective_melon | Brompton Westbrook Primary School A
    07 Oct 2019

    Hel nah the face masks should be fair because they are not ban in England

    Reply to this comment
  • Brompton Westbrook logo lovely_hippopotamus | Brompton Westbrook Primary School A
    07 Oct 2019

    Well in my opinion I think no . This is because the people of Hong Kong can be seriously hurt if they are exposed to toxic gases as it is very bad for our health. I understand that Carrie Lam does not want the identity of Hong Kong citizens to be hidden however, she needs to be thinking about the people because it is dangerous for them to be exposed to these gases.

    Reply to this comment
  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg entertaining_strawberry | Birchwood C of E Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    I do not think that this is okay. I do understand how Chinese leaders would wants to recognize people faces, but face masks provide protection. This means they are restricting the protection and freedom of Chinese and Hong Kong citizens and in my opinion, taking it too far.

    For the opinion, it is okay, I do understand. People should be responsible for their actions, but I think that taking away a need protection to enforce it is too dangerous.

    Thank you for reading this.

    Reply to this comment
    1. Hammond School logo loved_wildcat | Hammond Junior School F
      entertaining_strawberry's comment 08 Oct 2019

      Well as entertaining strawberry said I don’t agree because like in England we have the rights to wear what we desire. Even most of us have different religions it’s alright to be different while wearing what they want.But why can’t they?

      Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg easygoing_hen | Noel Park Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    I do not think it is fair for the Hong Kong government to ban face masks because
    1. Some people could have diseases and don’t want to spread it but if the government does ban them more people could get sick;
    2. People could have a gas leak in their house and if they are not used some people could get diseases.
    3. Pollution causes a huge amount of smoke to go around and if the government of Hong Kong bans it people could get their lungs infected.
    4. People that work in factories could get lung cancer from how much smoke they breathe in.

    Reply to this comment
  • Brompton Westbrook logo shrewd_snow | Brompton Westbrook Primary School A
    07 Oct 2019

    I think they should because the police need to know who the people are if there taking protesting to seriously.

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg trusting_seal | Noel Park Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    I don’t think that the government should ban face masks because:

    1.People might not want other people to see their true identities

    2.They might have a disease and need to wear a face mask

    3.Doctors need a face mask so they won’t get a disease from their patient

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg enchanted_dragonfruit | Noel Park Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    I don’t think it’s fair to ban face masks because people need it to protect their identity, they might be hiding from a bad guy. They also might need it they could be on the run from the police for something they haven’t done and most children use face masks to play a dress up game with their friend for fun. But there is a good side to banning face masks.

    Some people commit crimes that they don’t stick up to and they were face masks to hide their identity to hide from the police. They were face masks so they can have the chance to escape and go to a different country to hide from jail. I think people should ban face masks it is an easier way for the police to catch criminals who hide themselves with a face masks. People should stick up for their actions it was their responsibility. So banning face masks is a good thing to help the police also.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      enchanted_dragonfruit's comment 07 Oct 2019

      Hi enchanted_dragonfruit - which of your points here is most relevant for the situation in Hong Kong?

      Reply to this comment
      1. Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg enchanted_dragonfruit | Noel Park Primary School
        Tom @ the BNC's comment 07 Oct 2019

        That they need face masks to hide from a bad guy and they should ban it because it helps the police to catch criminals easier.

        Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg focused_hurricane | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    No because if you dont want to show your face while protesting so your not on places like the news but also yes if you do a crime then you should be able to own up for it.

    Reply to this comment
  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg logical_dragonfly | The Ruth Gorse Academy
    07 Oct 2019

    In my opinion I don't think they should because if people want to live like that then let them because even if we don't like it is not us wearing them so they should not banned it. If it is what they want to do then let them.

    Reply to this comment
  • Braiswick Primary School spirited_insect | Braiswick Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    I'm a mixed but I would like to explain both reasons.

    Yes
    I think yes because it might be disrespectful to some religions, depending on the particular picture or expression.
    Also if someone was meeting someone for the first time and they were wearing a mask, it would be rude to not show your face.

    No
    No because in countries like China and Japan, when some people are sick, they wear a mask to prevent spreading the illness. I think Hong Kong should also be allowed them, because if China has them, even for special occasions, why can't Hong Kong?
    I really don't know what to choose so I have written both sides/options.

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg impartial_shark | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    I agree with u spirited_insect.

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg impartial_shark | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    I don't think it is fair for the government of Hong Kong to ban the use of face masks for the following reasons: .for health and safety reasons .everyone should have the right to be who they want to be, live like they want to live, say what they need or want to say and do what they want to. Everyone has the right to be free. They might have a certain reason to have the mask on such as : religion or other personal reasons.

    Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg funny_camel | Noel Park Primary School
    07 Oct 2019

    No because there are protests going on and they are throwing tear gas that could blind people also because of climate change people that have asthma like me might need face masks from them having an asthma attack.

    Reply to this comment
  • Arnhem-Wharf-logo-250x250.jpg persistent_effort | Arnhem Wharf Primary School
    08 Oct 2019

    yes and no.
    yes because people could be hiding their identity and getting away by causing very violent protests and no because of all the diseases and maybe the people are trying too entertain themselves and children by putting on themed face masks too prevent everyone from thinking about illnesses. Also they could protest while being sick so those face masks kind of give people too get their voices heard at the same time as being ill.Article 12: you have the right to be listened to and for your voices too be heard .

    thank you for reading
    persistent_ effort

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      persistent_effort's comment 08 Oct 2019

      I've given you a star here for showing great open-mindedness. Well done for considering the different reasons for different people to wear masks.

      Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School warm_politics | Lyons Hall Primary School D
    08 Oct 2019

    i think they shouldn't be aloud because they are trying to get of prison and get punished 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

    Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School warm_politics | Lyons Hall Primary School D
    08 Oct 2019

    i think they shouldn't be aloud because they are trying to get of prison and get punished 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo thoughtful_snow | Hammond Junior School A
    08 Oct 2019

    No they shouldn’t because they have so much pollution

    Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School spectacular_painting | Lyons Hall Primary School C
    08 Oct 2019

    I think that the government has gone to far

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg fearless_crab | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    08 Oct 2019

    No because if China bombs Hong Kong they need them to breath

    Reply to this comment
    1. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg focused_hurricane | Boutcher C of E Primary School
      fearless_crab's comment 08 Oct 2019

      i agree because if they breathe to much smoke they could die

      Reply to this comment
  • CuddingtonCroft-logo-250x250.jpg memorable_tiger | Cuddington Croft Primary School
    08 Oct 2019

    Personally I don’t think that they should ban masks because of the pollution

    Reply to this comment
  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow | The Ruth Gorse Academy
    08 Oct 2019

    Well I think, based on reading the BBC article, the reason for banning the face masks is to curb out the most violent rioters (as Carrie Lam sees it) and she stated that ‘other countries do the same’ to justify her decision. So I googled this, and found that 15 other countries do indeed ban face masks for similar reasons, including France, Canada and several states in America.

    In most cases, I would say it’s fair for those countries to place a ban during protest because if your intention is not to do any harm then there’s no need to hide your face. However, because it’s China we are dealing with, and with China’s massive surveillance operation, I think it would be rather worrying as most people will now be fearing for their lives because even the most peaceful protestor will be seen radicle and be arrested. Now that it has been put into law, I think it could deter some people from going on further marches which is what China wants of course, however the defiant ones will get even more fired up; be more angry and aggressive than ever before because they will now see this is as another chunk of their freedom being taken away.

    Now that there is a ban, the protest may start to fizzle out or take it even further, but I also fear that the fate of HK people could end up just like the Uighurs (pronounced ‘wee-gurs’). Their situation is shocking because there are more than 1 million Uighur Muslims from Xinjiang, China (from as young as 2 to the elderly) innocently locked away to be brainwashed into becoming more ‘Chinese’. This is China’s cruel way to eradicate ‘terrorist’ tendencies- by wiping out their language and culture. China tells the world it’s a ‘re-education’ camp but in my definition it’s a prison. So, as horrifying as this is, it wouldn’t surprise me if another 1 million Hong Kong citizens go missing and are placed in a concentration camp just like the poor Uighurs. Much easier to do so without the face mask.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      creative_sparrow's comment 09 Oct 2019

      Thanks for your contribution, creative_sparrow. Could you say where you foound your information in the last paragraph?

      Reply to this comment
      1. The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow | The Ruth Gorse Academy
        Tom @ the BNC's comment 09 Oct 2019

        Hi Tom, I first heard about the plight of the Uighurs on BBC news some time ago, but I’ve also watched part of a documentary called ‘China: A New World Order’ (episode 1 on iPlayer). From that programme you will hear detailed testimonies of the people taken away, and parents that have lost their young children and many old, frail grandparents were not spared either. It’s a shocking and cruel and appalling abuse of human rights and yet the world still continues to deepen their trade links with China. I understand there has to be some level of diplomacy to keep the peace between countries, but really, does it take another million to go missing before it’s okay to speak out? I do recommend people to watch it to get a deeper insight and, if you google Uighurs, you will find even more horrifying footage. If world leaders stand by and not say anything, I feel in some way they are all complicit to the crime.

        Reply to this comment
        1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
          creative_sparrow's comment 10 Oct 2019

          I'll take a look to learn more!

          Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg adaptable_beetle | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    09 Oct 2019

    no because they have they have the right to say what they want because they cant say you cant your hair like this can they so feel free to stand up for your selves we all need freedom

    Reply to this comment
  • Brompton Westbrook logo ethical_lake | Brompton Westbrook Primary School B
    09 Oct 2019

    People should sometimes only when the police shoot tear gas at them

    Reply to this comment
  • Brompton Westbrook logo loyal_shark | Brompton Westbrook Primary School B
    09 Oct 2019

    Well, I don't really think that it is fair for the government to ban face masks, as the government are the ones that are choosing to fire all the tear gas.

    Reply to this comment
  • Brompton Westbrook logo eager_tiger | Brompton Westbrook Primary School B
    09 Oct 2019

    I don't think it's fair because the Chinese police are firing tear gas to protect the Chinese government so if they ban masks all of the HongKongers will pass out all the time and the police won't be protected, neither will the government so the whole country might pass out with enough tear gas used.

    Reply to this comment
  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg lovable_writer | Graveney School
    09 Oct 2019

    I don’t think it is fair to ban face masks in protests in Hong Kong because they have perfect reason to be wearing them. What would you do if protesting for your rights became dangerous, even life-threatening? Many people would say that they were proud of those people who bravely continued to stand up for what they believe. I think it is wrong for Hong Kong’s government to ban these face masks because they should realise that these people no longer feel safe or contented in Hong Kong and the government themselves are putting some people’s lives at risk. This is one of the main arguments supporting Britain’s intervention in the Hong Kong crisis.

    Reply to this comment
  • Ormiston Sudbury Academy free_iceberg | Ormiston Sudbury Academy
    10 Oct 2019

    I believe both sides of the argument have equal points.

    Many other countries such as Canada and France have banned face masks in protests to help them decipher who is being violent and who isn't.

    They should be able to wear the masks to help against the different pollutions and gases the police are putting in the air. The masks also help people who may be ill participate in the protests, if they ban face masks they will loose their freedom of speech. It also help protect their identity if there caught on different news outlooks but it does mean the police in Hong Kong will struggle to find out who the main protesters who are using violence are. Also the police and government are allowed to wear the face masks unlike the protestors meaning they are being hypocritical.

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      free_iceberg's comment 10 Oct 2019

      Great open-mindedness here and well done for giving good reasons. Do you think being hypocritical about something always means it is wrong for it to happen?

      Reply to this comment
  • Beverley-St-Nicholas-logo-250x250.jpg inquisitive_tangerine | Beverley St Nicholas Primary School
    10 Oct 2019

    I think that They should be able to wear face masks because they are choosing what they wear because if I couldn’t wear shoes that would be unfair

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      inquisitive_tangerine's comment 10 Oct 2019

      Why might a mask covering your face be different to a pair of shoes?

      Reply to this comment
  • The Sherwood School logical_drum | The Sherwood School
    10 Oct 2019

    i think it is unfair because people can where what they want.and they could be a fair near by and someone is going to the fair but there is a protest near by a police officer could think they are someone whos protesting they could accidentally arrest them

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo determined_tree | Hammond Junior School E
    10 Oct 2019

    I think it is okay to wear a face mask for privacy reasons, because you might not want other people to recognize you because they might not agree with you. For example, you might have a chinese friend and not want them to know that you believe that china is in the wrong, because they might not want to be your friend anymore.

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo determined_tree | Hammond Junior School E
    10 Oct 2019

    although, this would make it hard to find the identity of violators.

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg impartial_shark | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    10 Oct 2019

    I don't think Hongkongers should be banned from wearing facemasks because of the following reasons:

    .they might wear them to protect themselves from being poisoned by tear gas

    .they might not want to show their faces for privacy

    The Hongkongers should be banned from wearing face masks for the following reasons:

    .these people might be criminals that have violated the law
    .the government might get confused and put the wrong person in prison

    So from me, it is a yes and a no

    Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo fantastic_mode | Hammond Junior School B
    11 Oct 2019

    Yes because it is hiding there identities and they might be criminals or thieves.

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg fabulous_crow | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    11 Oct 2019

    I think that they shouldn't help because they signed an agreement and they should have the responsibility to sort it out themselves

    Reply to this comment
  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg loving_tiger | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    11 Oct 2019

    I think that Britten shodent get invlved

    Reply to this comment
  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg shining_piano | Morley Newlands Academy
    11 Oct 2019

    No because its full of pollution in Hong Kong that if they get ride of the masks, if they suck in that bad stuff it can cause to death.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      shining_piano's comment 11 Oct 2019

      It can be bad for their health but wouldn’t lead to what you suggest quickly.

      Reply to this comment

You must be logged in to post a comment