Police consider charges against activists in Lo Wu protest

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 December, 2009, 12:00am

Police will seek legal advice on whether to charge activists who staged a protest at Lo Wu immigration control point on Sunday.

This comes amid claims that police failed to stop alleged mainland public security officers from dragging protesters across to the Shenzhen side of the border.

The Legislative Council security panel is expected to request police to provide all videos and photos taken at the scene to determine whether mainland plain-clothes officers crossed the border, grabbed the activists' banner and dragged them to the Shenzhen side.

Hong Kong police Chief Superintendent David Ng Ka-sing said the Lo Wu Bridge was a closed area and that police would seek advice from the Department of Justice on whether to charge protesters with public order offences.

The border at the Lo Wu Bridge is in the middle of Shenzhen River, and 'is demarcated by a grille in the middle of the bridge', Ng said. 'Law enforcement agencies on both sides clearly know the border line and should not cross the line. There is no buffer area at the border.'

Four activists and two journalists from Hong Kong were detained by mainland police for three hours after a protest at the immigration control point in support of jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo .

Hong Kong police initially claimed they did not see any mainland public security officers exercise jurisdiction on the Hong Kong side of the border on Sunday night, but later revised that to say they did not see any uniformed mainland law enforcement officers exercise jurisdiction on the Hong Kong side.

Ng said yesterday that police had not been able to identify the person who grabbed the protesters' banner.

Security panel vice-chairman James To Kun-sun said the incident undermined Hong Kong's jurisdiction and should be investigated. He said the panel would seek all photo and video evidence.

Protester Lin Wah said that laying charges would be a 'total injustice and ridiculous'.

'We did not want to stay on the bridge and police at the scene did not give us help as Hongkongers were dragged to the Shenzhen side,' Lin said.

Law Yuk-kai, director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, said it would be an injustice if the protesters were charged.