09/19/2019, 11.24
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Hong Kong High Court calls on MTR to keep videos of police violence at Prince Edward and Lai Chi Kok

by Paul Wang

On the night of August 31, the police intervened indiscriminately beating protesters and passengers and making dozens of arrests. Three seriously injured persons have disappeared from the list of wounded, compiled by the firemen. The police are accused of killing them and making them disappear. The government denies that there have been victims. A student leader, arrested that night, wants to sue the police.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The High Court has ordered MTR (the underground company connected to the government) to hold on to the security videos of the night of August 31 at the stations of Prince Edward and Lai Chi Kok, when the police intervened beating many protesters and passengers and making dozens of arrests (photo 1).

Judge Anderson Chow explained that the videos could be delivered to a student leader, arrested that evening, who wants to sue the police. Kex Leung, head of the Education University student union, says his arrest is against the law.

The MTR company had already declared that it would keep the videos of the Prince Edward station for three years, but not those of Lai Chi Kok.

On the evening of August 31, police intervened in the station, on the platform and in the wagons beating suspect protesters, passengers, even children, using verbal threats and pepper spraying (photo 2). The first moments of the attack were filmed by jour. Then the police kicked the journalists out and the Prince Edward station was closed for hours. The police arrested at least 50 people and moved the wounded from Prince Edward station to Lai Chi Kok station, before sending them to the hospital.

That evening, for two hours the police blocked firefighters' intervention in helping the wounded. Two days ago, three firefighters - whose identity remained secret - testified that somebody might have manipulated the wounded list: originally 10 wounded were recorded, of whom three as very serious and seven not serious. On September 3 and September 10, the list in the fire department's database was corrected and only the seven non-serious wounded appear.

Groups of protesters accuse the police of killing the three  persons missing from the list. In recent weeks, in front of Prince Edward station, many young people have prepared a kind of catafalque decorated with flowers and messages to honor the dead (photo 3). The government has denied several times that people were killed on the night of August 31st. The anti-extradition movement would like to inspect the station's security videos, but the MTR has refused to make them public. The violence of the police and the denial of the MTR push the protesters to denounce the existence of a "police state" (photo 4), damaging the subway stations, branded as conniving with violence.

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