Ventus Lau Wing-hong, a spokesman for Hong Kong Civil Assembly Team, which was the organiser of the rally on Sunday, was arrested after the gathering was stopped before the planned end time due to violence.
The rally called for electoral reforms in September’s legislative elections and urged the international community to impose sanctions on the Hong Kong government
Lau, was arrested immediately after speaking to reporters in the evening. Police accused him of obstruction of Police and violating one of the rules in the force’s letter of no objection for the rally, that protesters could not overcrowd Chater Garden, Lau’s group said.
Before his arrest, Lau said police should bear full responsibility for the day’s chaos.
He said a man in plain clothes who identified himself as an officer asked him to cut short the rally because there were clashes nearby. Lau demanded he show his warrant card.
“The officer refused to display his warrant card until the crowd became too emotional. By then, the situation had become too hard to control,” Lau said. “I told him that as long as he showed me his warrant card, I would end the rally.”
A group of radical black-clad protesters first set upon a police liaison officer about an hour after the rally started after he spoke to Lau. He fell to the ground as heavy blows rained down on him, including from a protester’s metal baton. A colleague who came to his aid was also beaten. The pair managed to flee across the road but were again attacked as they tried to get into a nearby office tower.
“At around 4pm today, while two officers of the police community liaison office were liaising with the organiser of a public event in Chater Garden, Central, they were suddenly surrounded and beaten up brutally by a large group of rioters with wooden sticks and other weapons,” police said in a statement.