Riot Police arrests chairperson of Sai Kung District Council, 4 other district counselors and 8 counselor assistants for illegal assembly; Multiple police stations closed their gates depriving arrestees’ of their rights

On February 8, citizens march to Sheung Tak Estate, Tseung Kwan O, to protest the government ’s establishment of a designated clinic for the new coronavirus pneumonia nearby. People then gathered outside the parking lot in Sheung Tak Estate to mourn the death of University of Science and Technology student Chow Tse Lok who died here three months ago. Some people later erected road blocks. Plainclothes officers arrived at the scene in two unmarked vehicles and took away a few people. Thereafter road blocks were erected again. A large number of police officers rushed into Sheung Tak Estate and nearby Kwong Ming Court. Many were subdued and arrested. Police left the scene at nearly 2 am on February 9.

During the conflict, five Sai Kung District Councillors were arrested, including District Council Chairperson Chung Kam-lun, councellors Daryl Choi, Fung Kwan On, Chan Wai Lit and Valarie Wong Cheuk Nga. Wong reported that she was sexually harassed during her arrest.

Daryl Choi stated that he witnessed Chan Wai Lit’s arrest. Chan indicated that he put up no resistance whatsoever but the police officer continued to beat him, the officer even pressed his knee against Chan’s neck, Chan criticized the police ’s unnecessary use of force. He also pointed out that the police asked all arrested persons to put their hands on the back of their heads, if anyone raised his head slightly to adjust his posture, he will immediately be intimidated and insulted by police officers armed with batons.

Choi pointed out that the police repeatedly challenged the district councillors, questioned why Chan Wai Lit could obtain his district councillor office, and tossed away the councillor’s official card. Choi denounced the police’s intention to humiliate in the name of law enforcement.

Choi also indicated that after he and Lui Man Kwong stated their identity as district councillor, the police pushed Lui to the wall and abused him verbally, they falsely accused Choi of starting the verbal fight; while examining Choi’s identity card, a police officer pointed his finger at Choi at close range.

Cap. 232A Police (Discipline) Regulations
3.Disciplinary offences
2) The offences against discipline are—
(c) conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline;
(k) unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority resulting in loss or injury to any other person or to the Government;

Cap. 245 Public Order Ordinance

18.Unlawful assembly

(1)When 3 or more persons, assembled together, conduct themselves in a disorderly, intimidating, insulting or provocative manner intended or likely to cause any person reasonably to fear that the persons so assembled will commit a breach of the peace, or will by such conduct provoke other persons to commit a breach of the peace, they are an unlawful assembly. (Amended 31 of 1970 s. 11)

(2)It is immaterial that the original assembly was lawful if being assembled, they conduct themselves in such a manner as aforesaid.

(3)Any person who takes part in an assembly which is an unlawful assembly by virtue of subsection (1) shall be guilty of the offence of unlawful assembly and shall be liable—  (Amended 31 of 1970 s. 11)

(a)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for 5 years; and

(b)on summary conviction, to a fine at level 2 and to imprisonment for 3 years.

Police General Orders

44-05 Search of Persons Guiding Principles A search may be perceived as an invasion of a person’s dignity, privacy and constitutionally entrenched human rights and therefore the scope of any search to be carried out must be determined on an individual case-by-case basis according to the prevailing circumstances. 2. Searches are to be conducted in as polite a manner as possible and with the preservation of the dignity of the subject of the search paramount.

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Editorial Board, CityU SU