09/04/2019, 09.47
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Mounting public anger at police violence in Hong Kong

by Paul Wang

The lawyers association condemns police behavior towards demonstrations. Yesterday evening at the Prince Edward subway the policemen were surrounded by a crowd that criticized them for blocking a fainted protester. In Kowloon Bay, bus passengers shout at police force abuse.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The population of Hong Kong is increasingly angry at police violence. The police are accused of excessive use of force against demonstrators who have been on the streets for three months against the law on extradition and democracy. Yesterday, Lawyers association released a statement condemning the actions of the police towards the demonstrations.

Also yesterday afternoon at Tamar Park near Admiralty, for the second day, a rally was held attended by 40,000 people. Late in the evening, around 11 pm, when people were returning home, the police blocked two people dressed in black (the "uniform" of protesters) at the Prince Edward subway station. One of the two, who was wearing an anti-gas mask, fainted. Immediately a crowd gathered around the policemen criticizing them and asking them not to exercise violence against the man on the ground.

Meanwhile, a volunteer nurse tried to help the unconscious man. The people surrounding the policemen continued to shout against the abuses of the police forces. The security forces used pepper spray and batons to get away. The unconscious young man was admitted to the Kwong Wah hospital. His father declared this morning that the young man - 21 years old - is fine and can talk.

Last night, around 9 pm, the police boarded a bus on the route from Kowloon Bay to Lam Tin to carry out checks on the passengers. At least 12 policemen asked 20 passengers to raise their hands on their heads and checked the identities of those present. All the bus passengers began to shout at the police, denouncing the uselessness of the control and denouncing the abuses of the police. After about two hours, the policemen arrested some of the passengers for "disturbing the peace".

Yesterday, the lawyers' association released a statement condemning "any abuse of power" by the police who in recent months have used "excessive force to disperse demonstrators and make arrests". The association, the most important body in Hong Kong’s legal world, accuses the police of "indiscriminate use of tear gas" and of firing bullets at shoulder or face height, from close distances, to exert control.

It is also stated that there are widespread episodes of beatings against the arrested and that very often the police prevented the arrested from having legal assistance.

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