Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung on Thursday accused prison staff of intentionally insulting him by making him squat naked during an interrogation held while he was serving time for unlawful protest. The Demosisto leader was appearing at the Small Claims Tribunal, where he has sued the secretary for justice for HK$16,000 (US$2,039) in damages over the alleged incident that was said to have taken place at Tung Tau Correctional Institution on October 16, 2017. At the time Wong had just been transferred from Pik Uk Correctional Institution to complete his six-month sentence for unlawful assembly in September 2014 – a term that was later quashed by the Court of Final Appeal after he had served 69 days in prison. Behind bars, political activist Joshua Wong in good spirits Wong told deputy adjudicator Percy Yue that he was ordered to strip naked and squat barefoot in an air-conditioned room while a Correctional Services Department officer, later identified as Leung Tin-hang, interrogated him for five minutes. The questions covered subjects such as drug use, involvement in triad activities, his previous occupation and political affiliations – even though the latter of those was not mentioned on the form Leung was filling in, Wong said. I felt insulted because I believe that went beyond security reasons Joshua Wong When asked why there was a need to squat naked twice, Leung reportedly told Wong: “We use squat toilets here – checking to see if you have any difficulties.” Wong said the practice of interrogating inmates in that manner was unheard of, totally inappropriate and an obvious abuse of position and power. “I felt insulted because I believe that went beyond security reasons … It was targeted at me alone, judging by their attitude,” he said. “Inmates are also human beings; [they] shouldn’t have to squat naked and look up at [officers] like a dog,” he continued in a raised voice. But two of Leung’s colleagues, assistant officers Tai Kwong-yee and Pak Wai-hon, who were also present in the room, testified Wong was only asked to squat naked briefly twice, each time for up to two seconds, as part of the usual body search for prohibited items before the interrogation took place and not when Wong was being questioned. The two officers also explained it takes two squats to detect irregularities, such as concealed items, and inmates would not normally be naked for more than three minutes, unless prohibited items were discovered. Both officers denied they had colluded on their evidence or even talked about Wong, and disagreed with his suggestion they were lying. Joshua Wong seeks HK$45,000 payout after protest handcuffing “So I made up the allegations?” Wong countered. “I’m not clear,” Tai replied. When pressed on the same question again, Tai said: “No such thing happened.” The exchange prompted the adjudicator to step in. “I don’t know why you won’t say whether it was made up,” she said. “Put simply, did Wong squat naked during the interrogation?” “No,” the officer replied. The trial continues with Leung’s testimony on Friday.