Stick-wielding blue ribbon fanatics escorted by PTU troops as they kick and beat a reporter
At about two o’clock in the afternoon, residents of Yuen Long gathered at the Yuen Long MTR station. They brought equipment to remove the Lennon Wall near Yuen Long Station. A female citizen stated that she represented the group as its spokesperson. She accused Legislative Councillor Lam Cheuk Ting of leading a group of people dressed in black who gathered in Yuen Long on 21 July, causing destruction first, which led to the subsequent conflict. She admitted there were people dressed in white holding rattan sticks to defend Yuen Long. She pointed out that the people in black used fire hoses to spray water on them, so the people in white retaliated with sticks.
In addition, a large number of people at the scene were holding stick-like objects. They claimed to be the security guards of the event. Riot police were nearby and on alert, but no action was taken.
According to a Ming Pao report, the reporter passed the parade, indicating he was a Ming Pao reporter. She was surrounded by a large number of assembling citizens, during which she was pushed and kicked, and had her mask forcibly pulled off. The incident ended when the Riot Police separated the citizens. The editorial department of Ming Pao condemned these barbaric acts and called on all parties to respect the freedom of interviewing.
When being interviewed by The Stand News, the attacked reporter revealed that the incident occurred not long after the start of the protest march. She stated that she was hoping to interview some protesters while being in the back of the crowd, when a person inquired her news company, to which she replied, “Ming Pao”. Insults were immediately hurled at her, saying, “She’s one of the black press! The black press! (Note: “Black press” is a term used by radical officers, pro-establishment councilors or blue ribbon fanatics. This term is mainly used to attack some members of the press who they believe to be intentionally shaming them, the government, the police or anyone in general. This is a common insult used by police officers, alongside “cockroach”. )” “Others also attacked me with boos and jeers, some even saying that I had taken close-up photos of them.”
The reporter was severely injured since she was on a narrow sidewalk. During the attack, she was pushed and kicked by several protesters taking part in the march, some even trying to rip off her mask. She later discovered that her right calf was swollen red afterwards. The PTU officers, though preventing the attacks just in time, did not arrest anyone and were at first “standing in front of the railing, called the protesters to calm down and not to attack reporters.” A police marshal arrived later and intervened, also telling the reporter that he would “protect you and not let you be subject to lynch law”.
The reporter continued afterwards without reporting the incident to the police, nor did she call for an ambulance, despite still being harassed and yelled at by the protesters in the march, and had to keep a safe distance to continue her interviewing. She was confused about the situation, saying, “I was merely representing my media company, why was I beaten only because I was in the crowd? I have never done anything to provoke them, nor have I attacked them.”
Cap. 245 Public Order Ordinance No. 18:
(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.
Cap.245 Public Order Ordinance No. 33(1)
(1)Any person who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, has with him in any public place any offensive weapon shall be guilty of an offence and shall be sentenced, on summary conviction or conviction on indictment, in the manner specified in subsection (2). (Amended 27 of 1978 s. 2)
The Court of Final Appeal established 5 requirements of misconduct in public office in the case Sin Kam Wah v HKSAR (2005) 8 HKCFAR 192.
The offence is committed where:
(1) A public official;
(2) In the course of or in relation to his public office;
(3) Willfully misconducts himself by act or omission; for
example, by willfully neglecting or failing to perform
(4) Without reasonable excuse or justification; and
(5) Where such misconduct is serious, not trivial, having
regard to the responsibilities of the office and the
office-holder, the importance of the public objects
which they serve and the nature and extent of the
departure from those responsibilities.