Hong Kong protest teen will not be taken from parents: Lawyer

Hong Kong protest teen will not be taken from parents: Lawyer

HONG KONG - A 14-year-old pro-democracy protester in Hong Kong who faced being removed from his parents will be allowed to remain with his family, his lawyer said Monday, after an outcry over the treatment of minors who look part in the demonstrations.

The secondary school student, who cannot be identified, voiced his anger despite the reprieve, criticising authorities' actions as "extremely unethical" and "politically motivated".

"The more we are suppressed, the more we think we are doing the right thing," he told AFP after the decision.

It comes as a 14-year-old girl who chalked a flower on a protest wall waits to hear whether she will be removed from her father's care at a hearing later in January.

The boy was arrested as police cleared the Mongkok protest camp in late November - the first of the three main rally sites to be cleared after student-led demonstrators blocked major city intersections in late September to demand free leadership election in the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city.

Police then applied for a care and protection order which could have seen him removed from his parents and sent to a children's home.

But at a closed-door High Court hearing on Monday, the department of justice said that the application for the order would be withdrawn, the boy's solicitor Patricia Ho told AFP.

He was also facing a contempt case for obstructing bailiffs ordered to clear the Mongkok site, but that was dropped at the same hearing, Ho said.

The boy is still set to receive a separate summons for obstructing a public officer, said Ho.

'Below the belt'

"Their intention is to scare people off by punishing one person," the teen told AFP.

"Going to a children's home can change someone's future in Hong Kong," he said.

"What the government is doing is below the belt because they are using all means to try to stop young people from carrying out political campaigns. But it will just make us more determined." Police were not immediately able to comment on the boy's case.

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