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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:01pm
July 1 march
NewsHong Kong

Police accused of heavy-handed treatment of protesters arrested after July 1 march

Student federation official says decision to haul away more than 500 protesters in Central was wrong as they had said they would leave at 8am

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 July, 2014, 2:08pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 July, 2014, 11:17am

Police have been accused of using excessive force in Central to drag 511 protesters from an overnight sit-in that followed the July 1 democracy march.

Officers are also said to have deprived those arrested of their rights during the action.

The mass arrests were made early yesterday on Chater Road and outside the chief executive's office in Admiralty.

The Hong Kong Federation of Students, organiser of the Chater Road sit-in, said it was unnecessary for the police to haul protesters away by force, as the federation had promised to end the protest at 8am.

"The action was a success. It has opened the way for more civil disobedience," deputy secretary- general Chan Shu-fai said.

He said the alleged maltreatment of protesters had laid bare the police's lack of manpower and the force's lack of ability to handle larger scale civil disobedience actions.

Chan and other student leaders were arrested for unlawful assembly and for aiding and assisting an unlawful assembly.

Eric Lam Lap-chi, a Kwai Tsing district councillor, said officers grabbed him by the neck and twisted his wrists as they dragged him away at about 3am, leaving him with scratches and bruises.

By 10.30pm yesterday, all of those detained were released with 25 given bail and 486 given warnings.

None of those arrested had been charged so far, police said.

Protesters said they were made to wait hours at a temporary detention centre in Aberdeen before they were granted access to lawyers and were given refreshments.

Barrister and lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit said five lawyers entered the centre at a police college at Wong Chuk Hang at 4am and met 11 protesters two hours later.

When another nine lawyers went in at 8am, they had to wait five hours to meet protesters.

"They didn't respect the rights of the accused to see the lawyers as soon as possible," said Leong, who went to the centre much later.

"The police's treatment of the lawyers is problematic."

Legislator Helena Wong Pik-wan, a member of the Independent Police Complaints Council, said some of the arrested were not allowed to visit the toilet as they were told there were not enough officers to escort them.

But Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok denied any maltreatment of the protesters.

He said the police had followed normal procedures, but it took time to process such a large number of arrests.

Lai said it was necessary for police to make the arrests as the protesters had blocked major roads and disrupted order.

Inside the police college, Qing Lam, 30, spoke to a South China Morning Post reporter over the phone after 1pm.

Qing, who was arrested at Chater Road, later said she was still waiting to give a statement five hours after that phone call.

The centre appeared to be overwhelmed with protesters, she said, but police did not supply food or water until noon - over three hours after her arrest.

Hong Kong police arrest hundreds of demonstrators at Chater Rd sit-in

Additional reporting by Tony Cheung and Samuel Chan



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This article is now closed to comments

I support the protestors. I support democracy for HK. But, I have only seen the police acting professionally these days. We have to be fair and honest. Let us not demonize the police and see them as 'the enemy' just because they are doing their job - a jobe we all need them to do well. If I protest - I can expect to be arrested. You can't just sit in the middle of the road and not expect to get picked up and carted of to jail. Which is not to say protesters should not do this - they should - at the right moment in history. But when they do, getting arrested is part of the package deal. That's what civil disobedience entails.
What about the policewoman who had her nose broken?
Were they expecting hotel service at the detention centre? Thousands of police had to work through the night because these people deliberately broke the law!
Be fair!
our police force is just doing their job, a great job done too. it also depends who they are dealing with, if its those thugs then excessive force is absolutely necessary
Removing protestors from Chater Road:
If the protesters break the law decisively, willingly and purposely they need to face the consequences. And that means they will be removed, by force if necessary.
If I park my car in front of your car park exit and you cannot get out, you will call the police and ask them to remove my car by force (tow it away). But stop - according to the demonstrators such action is excessive and unacceptable because I told you I will remove my car 6 hours later - all you have to do is to wait.
If the demonstrators complain about the forceful and painful removal because of their resistance to follow police instructions, could they enlighten us how they would remove me and my friends from their living room without force if we do exactly what they did in Chater Road ? Get real. The police did the best they could do in such circumstances and they didn't use water canons to sweep clean the road.
"Organisers said police slowed the rally down to a crawl by refusing to open all lanes of a Causeway Bay thoroughfare to marchers despite an enormous turnout."
People have the right to a peaceful protest, yet they have to respect other peoples right to earn a living, carry out business activities, emergency road access....etc.
Heavy hand or capable hand. I thought the general public owe the police force a praise for their professional work done yesterday.
Come on, you know it. The police actions are much civilised than any civilised country!
For a bunch of legislators, they really have no respect for the law and those commissioned to uphold it. The protesters knew they were going to get arrested, it was premeditated. They had a prior agreement with the police on what they could do throughout the protest and chose to break that agreement even after discussions with the police.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you only a lawyer are charged with breaking the law. Since they were not charged, they did not need a lawyer.
The protestors do not even know what they are protesting about. How is not having a full universal suffrage today impacting their lives? If we had universal suffrage today in HK would they be richer? Have bigger Homes? Be happier? Better quality of life?
People protesting for something need to have a reason behind it. Some injustice that is measurable. The fact is HK has cheap public housing, good Medicare compared with the rest of the world and free education. It is not that bad a place to live.
Tourists from China has nothing to do with universal suffrage?
Most of the people doing civil disobedience are young students who have nothing better to do during their holiday which is what occupy central is actually based on. They do not even realize that receiving warnings from the police could impact them 5 years from now as the next incidence will take into account previous warnings.
The police seem reasonable and the only news here is whining students who already decided to whine before anything even happened. They had already planned to hold onto each other, to call out badge numbers and already planned what they would yell to make people think police were abusing them. I feel sorry for the police who have to do their job with such people who are just wasting their summer. They should get jobs, take summer school, take up a hobby... not just waste away their lives.
I am shocked why the unproved accusations against the police could draw the well-educated and learned politicians a lot of flak. Have the police watchdog conducted a thorough investigation on it? Or have they forgotten a basic legal term of “a person is accounted innocent until they are proven guilty”? To be fair, please! What if I said those arrested students should be subject to punishment because they had committed an offence of unlawful assembly, they had still refused to leave following several warnings by the police? Is it fair to the students? What do you think? As the IPCC secretary general Mr. Chu has already promised the council would investigate all allegations. Only God know the truth at this moment. why did you still jump to conclusion?



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