We are all outraged by the extrajudicial punishment dished out on protesters by the police. Today the police finally decided to suspend from duty the seven police officers who allegedly carried out the attacks, and will conduct a criminal investigation. OCLP is paying close attention to the progress of the investigation and urges the authorities to make the results of the investigation public as soon as possible, as well as the investigations into excessive force used by the police in dispersing the protesters in Lung Wo Road.
Since the police used excessive force in the clearance operation in the early morning of the 15th of this month, some ‘sporadic acts of occupation’ and obstruction of traffic sprang up in Lung Wo Road yesterday, which shows the increasing tension between demonstrators and frontline police officers. Although OCLP finds the abuse of power by individual police officers to be hateful, we urge every occupier not to forget our original intention, that is to fight for a democratic political system with love and peace. Our target should be the dictator who ignores public opinion. We should not misfire and give the government an excuse for repression.
We urge the occupiers to continue to safeguard the ‘Umbrella Square’. If someone chooses to further block the road or extend the occupation area, that will surely intensify the conflict among citizens, which is what Leung Chun-ying would love to see. It also gives the government a reason for clearance due to rising ‘public resentment’. More importantly, for civil disobedience to be successful, understanding and support from the public have to be sought.
We strongly condemn the police officers for abusing their power. However, we also call for protesters to show understanding and sympathy if the police are carrying out their duties lawfully. They have simply been pushed into the position of our opponents by an unjust system and the hardliners in the government. We hope all protesters not to forget what it was we set out to do – to resist a dictatorial government with love and peace.
A shocking video shows six Hong Kong police officers apparently leading a handcuffed pro-democracy protester to a dark corner and kicking him repeatedly while he is on the ground.
The violent footage was captured on Wednesday after cameras from local Hong Kong station TVB followed the police during the mass protests against China’s interference in Hong Kong’s first elections, which are promised in 2017.
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police battling activists for control of an underpass in the dead of night Wednesday sparked public anger after officers were seen kicking a handcuffed protester in the worst violence since street demonstrations for greater democracy began more than two weeks ago.
Officers armed with riot shields and pepper spray knocked activists to the ground, dragging dozens away, and tore down barricades protesters used as roadblocks around the underpass outside the government’s headquarters. Continue reading
OCLP strongly condemns police use of extrajudicial punishment and demands investigation of use of excessive force against protesters
This morning, in an attempt to forcibly disperse the crowd outside the Chief Executive’s Office at Lung Wo Road and the adjacent underpass, police exercised excessive force. The most unacceptable incident was recorded by members of the media, in which several police officers took an already restrained protester to a dark corner and kicked and punched him. OCLP strongly condemns such behavior, which smacks of extrajudicial punishment and demands authorities investigate it. The public must not be left with the impression that selective law enforcement and collusion among public officers is condoned.
OCLP also calls on protesters to hold onto the spirit of peaceful struggle, to guard well the already occupied zones, and to avoid giving authorities’ any excuse for clearance.
According to witness accounts, Lung Wo Road and the adjacent underpass was taken over by the protesters yesterday evening, (Oct 14th). By 3 am, the police declared protesters were conducting an ‘unlawful assembly’, and told them to peacefully and orderly disperse, otherwise force would be deployed. As the police advanced, protesters stood their ground. Some police officers apparently treated such behaviour as ‘assault’, forcibly subdued protesters, and sprayed pepper spray into their faces. Protesters who had indicated compliance were nevertheless dragged away roughly. One protester, whose hands were tied behind his back, was carried to a dark corner at Tamar Park by six uniformed and plain-clothed officers. He was kicked and punched, his face and eyes bruised and swollen.
The protester, Ken Tsang Kin Chiu, was at that point under constraint and was in no position to fight back, much less prevent any clearance action on the part of the police, or pose any threat. Before a court acts, any person is presumed innocent. It is absolutely wrong for law enforcement officers to mete out extrajudicial punishment against any citizen. The police officers involved are alleged to have done exactly that and should be strongly condemned.
OCLP is concerned the police are taking the line that protesters’ refusal to leave already constitutes unlawful assembly, and that this justifies dispersal action. Such reasoning, if unchallenged, may well be applied for the dispersal of peaceful protesters at Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok. This is a violation of Chief Executive Leung Chung Ying’s earlier pledge that as long as protesters refrain from charging police formations, the police are committed to maximum tolerance, to allow protesters to gather freely. OCLP regrets the police action.
15 October 2014