Hong Kong activists to lodge complaint with watchdog over police tactics during Xi visit

Civil Human Rights Front accuses officers of undermining Hongkongers’ freedom of assembly and speech during president’s three-day visit to city

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 July, 2017, 8:58pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 July, 2017, 10:26pm

The organiser of the July 1 march will lodge complaints with police and their watchdog over alleged abuse of power and violence during the visit to Hong Kong by President Xi Jinping.

The unprecedented security blanket safeguarded Xi at the expense of Hongkongers’ freedom of assembly and speech, the organiser said.

Xi was in town for three days last week to mark the 20th anniversary of the city’s handover to China.

“Our freedom of assembly has been gradually undermined ... with protesters’ personal freedom being threatened, “ Civil Human Rights Front convenor Au Nok-hin said on Thursday.

Demosisto’s Ivan Lam Long-yin, arrested for staging a protest at Golden Bauhinia Square ahead of Xi’s arrival, said officers deliberately delayed procedures and took a statement from him only 33 hours after he was arrested. Some of the 26 arrested protesters were released only after 36 hours.

Watch: Hong Kong activists stage Golden Bauhinia protest

After being released, around 10 members of the League of Social Democrats were followed and one assaulted by people probably with triad backgrounds, league member Figo Chan Ho-wun claimed.

Chan reported the case to police, but was told that no suspicious people were found.

On July 1, league chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen and Demosisto secretary general Joshua Wong Chi-fung were dragged into a police vehicle during a stand-off between pan-democrat protesters and pro-Beijing supporters.

A photograph appeared to show Ng being held forcibly against a window by a police officer inside the vehicle.

Ng said he was assaulted by the officer, showing at least two bruises on his back and more on his wrists.

“The police officer should be suspended from duty and arrested,” Au said, adding the case was a serious assault.

“We also call for the police to investigate the men following the protesters.” Au added, saying only a thorough investigation could clear accusations of “cooperation between police and triads”raised by some members of the public.

The force said the Complaints Against Police Office had received three complaints and would handle them in a fair and impartial ­manner. It said it could not comment further but would follow established procedures.