Tens of thousands march against the sexual abuse and torture by Hong Kong police
by Paul Wang

Protests over the detention center of San Uk Ling, near the border with China. Five direct and indirect testimonies on abuses. A young man was tortured and sexually abused because he did not want to reveal the password to his smartphone. Dozens of people arrested were hospitalized, some with broken bones.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Tens of thousands of people gathered yesterday evening in Edinburgh Place to report violence - including sexual abuse and torture - by Hong Kong police against demonstrators of the anti-extradition movement locked up in San Uk prison Ling, near the border with China.

One day earlier, executive chief Carrie Lam said the detention center will no longer be used to imprison demonstrators. Yesterday, the police spokesman said that there are no members of the movement in San Uk Ling and that the accusations made against them are inconsistent.

But yesterday evening the approximately 50,000 gathered in Edinburgh Place were able to hear the direct or indirect testimonies of five victims. A student of the Chinese University, "S." said that while being arrested, a policeman palpated her breasts and she had to urinate in front of male policemen "voyeur" at Kwai Chung police station.

Another testimony, read by a volunteer because the victim is still under shock, tells of a young man who, arrested, refused to unlock his smartphone to save the privacy of his contacts. The young man was doused with pepper spray, then stripped naked, with his head covered, tied to a table and sexually abused.

A policeman told him: "Nothing would have happened to you if you had told us the password [of your smartphone]". After that, the police washed his body with disinfectant and water and dressed him, presented him at the court. He could not contact any lawyer for about 30 hours after his arrest.

Claudia Yip, of the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor organization, pointed out that in other police stations such abuses occurred, including the lack of access to medical care or to a lawyer.

According to the police, the San Uk Ling center was used only for 75 demonstrators at four different times. The members of the movement denounce that on August 11, out of 54 arrested, 31 were detained and then sent to the hospital. Six of them had broken bones.

The anti-extradition movement continues to demand an independent investigation into the excessive use of force by the police, but the government refuses to grant it.