October 21: 13-year-old gave statement in parents’ absence after head knelt on by police
Three secondary school students including a youngster aged only 13 were arrested by plainclothes officers after allegedly having sprayed words of protest on the walls of Tsuen Wan MTR (metro) station on the night of 21st October this year. The three were charged with two counts of damaging property and appeared in West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts today with no case to answer and were granted bail. The case was adjourned to 20th December. The lawyer representing the 13-year-old complained in court that his client sustained injury to his left temple after a police officer used his knee to exert pressure on the right side of his client’s head even though he did not struggle during the arrest. The police also interviewed him and took his statement without cautioning him, in the absence of parents or guardians, knowing his mother was on the way to the police station. The 13-year-old defendant kept his head down and his hands behind his back during the trial, appeared to be unease and terrified.
The lawyer representing the 13-year-old complained in court that during arrest, three or four men in plain clothes pounced on him and pinned him to the ground. He did not struggle after the arrest but was still pressed hard on the right of his head by a police officer’s knee, causing injury to his left temple requiring treatment in hospital.
As the defendent was only 13 years old and should have been accompanied by parents or guardians for giving statement, at 9:40pm the police called his mother who said it would take about half an hour to get to the police station. She was delayed in the process and again called by the police at around 10pm when she told them she was on her way to the police station. The police, however, interrogated him and took his statement without cautioning him before the arrival of his mother, depriving underaged arrestees’ right of giving statement in the presence of parents.
In addition, the lawyer of the 17-year-old defendant surnamed Liu, also complained of police violence against him during his arrest and on his way to the police station and asked the court to put it on record but did not disclose details.