Amnesty accuses Hong Kong police of breaking bones, causing bleeding and even engaging in torture
The human rights organisation releases a report based on 38 interviews and footage. The police reject the charges. Protest movement’s Lennon Walls have been targeted. Junius Ho described as Hong Kong "garbage".
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Amnesty International has accused the Hong Kong Police of breaking bones, hurting people, causing bleeding and even engaging in torture in its crackdown against people protesting an extradition bill over the past three months.
The charges, contained in a report presented yesterday, are based on 38 interviews of arrestees, medical workers and lawyers, as well as reviewed footage that detail a “disturbing pattern” of improper reckless and unlawful tactics.
Since protests began in June, the anti-extradition movement has called for an independent investigation into the excessive use of force by police.
Over the three months, police have fired more than 2,382 canisters of tear gas, more than 776 rubber bullets, beanbag rounds and sponge grenades as of September 10 and arrested 1,359 people. At least 70 of them have been charged with rioting, an offence carrying a penalty of 10 years in prison.
Amnesty’s most serious accusations concern collusion between law enforcement and organised crime in Yuen Long and police actions at the King Edward MTR[*] station on 31 August.
At a press conference yesterday, Police Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent Tse Chun-chung rejected the report, claiming that it did not take in account that “we are facing an unprecedented challenge to the rule of law.”
In an official statement, the police also said that it does not comment particular cases and if anyone is unhappy with the attitude of some police officers, they can take it up through proper channels.
Today, pro-China LegCo Member Junius Ho launched a campaign to clean Hong Kong and remove "Lennon Walls" across the territory.
A Lennon Wall is a form of protest that emerged in Czechoslovakia in the 1980s, and involves walls on which people can freely post messages.
In Hong Kong, young people have stuck thousands of such messages on advertising space, walls, bus stops, full of colourful posts and notes praising democracy.
Junius Ho quickly went back on his proposal, telling people to only clean the rubbish (picture 2), and not touch the Lennon Walls to avoid provocations. In fact, his teams have wiped clean several democracy walls.
So far there have been no clashes. A young man from the anti-extradition movement told Junius Ho to get out of the way, describing him as "garbage" of Hong Kong society. For others, he could clean the walls as much as he wanted because they would be filled again with posts (picture 3).
A rally is scheduled for Yuen Long to commemorate attacks by organised crime groups against protesters two months ago. The MRT closed the local station to prevent vandalism.
[*] Mass Transit Railway.