Joshua Wong

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong seeks HK$45,000 police payout for July 1 protest handcuffing

Joshua Wong Chi-fung is seeking HK$45,000 compensation from the city’s police chief

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2017, 12:12pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 August, 2017, 1:07pm

Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung is seeking compensation of HK$45,000 from the police chief, claiming it was unreasonable for officers to handcuff him as he headed to a protest on July 1.

Wong, secretary general of the Demosisto party, said he was on his way to protest at the flag-raising ceremony in Wan Chai on the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China, when he was attacked by alleged “gangsters”.

“There were about 100 people outside the Wan Chai MTR station. They surrounded us and some punched and kicked us,” he said. “But instead of asking the crowd to leave, some officers took us into a police vehicle and handcuffed me ... Later a policeman told me they were not arresting me, and I could leave the police station.”

Wong said he asked why he was handcuffed, but the officer did not answer.

He said his lawyers told him that in 2002 and 2009, there were court rulings stating that it was unlawful for police to “restrain the freedom of a person not officially arrested”.

Wong was speaking before filing legal documents at the Small Claims Tribunal in the West Kowloon Law Courts Building yesterday morning.

After filing the claim against Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung, Wong said the tribunal would hear the case on August 9.

A police spokeswoman said the force would look into the matter

In a separate development, Demosisto member Agnes Chow Ting filed a complaint yesterday against the police with the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Chow said she and five other female activists were arrested on June 28 for occupying the Golden Bauhinia Statue in Wan Chai.

Annual July 1 pro-democracy march in Hong Kong draws record low turnout: police

While being detained at the female detention cell in North Point Police Station, they saw male police officers patrolling the cells, she claimed.

Chow said the toilets in each cell could be seen from the corridor where officers patrolled, offering little privacy for inmates.

Policewomen also patrolled the male detainees’ cells, she added.

“It’s disrespectful to different genders and we hope the commission can do something about it to improve the situation,” Chow said.

After filing the complaint with three of the women arrested, Chow said commission staff promised to give them a response in 14 working days.

The police spokeswoman said it was force policy to ensure the patrolling officer was of the same sex as detainees.

“If the officer on duty has to inspect cells with detainees of a different sex, he or she has to be accompanied by another officer of the same sex as the detainees, who will inspect the detainees first to make sure they are ready to be inspected by the duty officer,” the spokeswoman told the Post.