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Mong Kok riot

Police nab Hong Kong student for social media post calling for attacks on journalists during riot

Two more charged on Wednesday in fourth round of prosecution for chaos in Mong Kok last week

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 February, 2016, 3:04pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 February, 2016, 1:11pm

A student was arrested on Wednesday over an online post he allegedly wrote asking people to attack local journalists.

The 21-year-old man, who is a student at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, allegedly posted the message on an online social media platform at about 5am during the Mong Kok riot last Tuesday, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

It is understood that the message asked people to attack TVB crew and break their cameras if they saw them on the streets.

READ MORE: Expert predicts more violent riots in Hong Kong this year as passions run high with upcoming elections

“At this stage, there is no indication that he took part in the riot,” the source said.

At about 7am on Wednesday, the student was picked up when police raided his home in Tin Yuet Estate in Tin Shui Wai. Officers also seized a computer and mobile phone from the flat.

Police arrested the man on suspicion of accessing a computer with criminal or dishonest intent. Around noon, he was still being held for questioning and had not been charged.

It is understood that he is a second-year student studying digital music and media.

A police officer recognised the man as one of protesters in the riot and arrested him.
A source familiar with the case

Separately, police arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of participating in the riot. He was recognised at a different protest a week later.

The man, who is a cleaner, was among a group of people who took part in the so-called “gau wu” (shopping) protest in Mong Kok at about 11pm on Tuesday, according to police.

“A police officer recognised the man as one of protesters in the riot and arrested him,” another source said. The suspect was being held for questioning on Wednesday morning.

Last week’s riot resulted in nearly 130 people being wounded, including five journalists and more than 90 police officers.

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said on Tuesday that there were more than 700 rioters scattered across at least 14 streets in Mong Kok. Fires were set in 22 different locations and about 2,000 bricks were dug out of 110 square metres of pavement.

READ MORE: ‘An inquiry into the Mong Kok riot would only create a new battleground’: former Central Policy Unit chief compares Star Ferry and Hong Kong riots

In the fourth round of prosecutions in connection with the riot, two men were brought to Kowloon City court on Wednesday.

Yep Chi-fung, 17, and Lam Wing-wong, 21, were accused of rioting on February 8 and 9. Both were charged with one count of rioting, but were not required to enter a plea on first mention.

The prosecution did not object to releasing them on cash bail, but requested they be banned from parts of Mong Kok.

Yep and Lam were bailed at HK$5,000 and HK$1,000 respectively, on condition that they stay at home and refrain from entering the barred areas except in transit.

READ MORE: Advocating violent confrontation in Hong Kong will only force Beijing to take a harder line

So far, 71 people have been arrested over the riot, with the youngest being two 14-year-old girls. Among the others, 42 were charged with rioting while one was charged with unlawful assembly.