6th August 2013
Black-belt Retired Sergeant Attacked Journalists for 2 Min in Mong Kok – Not Interfered by Uniform Police
(video at the link above captures the attack)
At the dispute between those who support Ms Alpais Lam Wai-sze and the police force on Sunday, the police seemed to focus on protecting the pro-police camp and ignored the nearby civilians and journalists who were being attacked. An activist who was attacked by the pro-police camp sought help from the police nearby, and the officer asked him to call 999 (the emergency number). Hong Kong Journalist Association criticised why no police interfere the two minutes long attack against journalists. According to source, the individual who attacked the photojournalist from Next Magazine is a retired Sergeant who has karate black-blet.
The police replied that the are very concern about the attacks and have adopted decisive actions at a suitable moment and arrested five people. According to source, one of the suspects Yeung XXX-wai who attacked Next Magazine’s photojournalist (orange top with sun-glasses) is a former Sargent who retired two years ago. The source also said that he also holds a black-belt in karate. When he retired two years ago, his colleagues threw him a party and everyone called him “Knight Brother Wai”.
Yeung Kai-cheung, an activist, went to show his support to Ms Lam on Sunday. He was in the middle of a crowd of suspected-to-be-retired-police-officers who swore non-stop at those who support Ms Lam and some even stuck their fingers at the supporters’ eyes. Yeung tried to shop them and shouted at them “there are police here watching!” The pro-police group turned to him and “climbed over the police fence and threw himself at him”. Yeung was standing on a plastic stool, and was knocked down by the attacker. Right next to him were two uniform police officers.
Yeung suffered from chest pain and tried to ask the police on-site for help. “He (the officer) said to me that he’s looking after the crowd control, and tell me to call 999.” The police did not stop the attacker from leaving and continued to guard the police fence. Yeung rang the emergency line in front of the office, and could only get in touch with another officer an hour later. The officers who responded to the call said to Yeung “that person has gone” and asked Yeung to leave the scene, and walked over to the empty area around 200m away to wait for the ambulance.
Yeung criticised that the order might have come directly from the senior officers, “he claimed to be handling crowd control (and ignored my request for help) and asked me to call the emergency number could be an order that was given ahead of time”. He has given statement to the Crime Unit. “This is simply ridiculous, and obviously a selective prosecution.”
Law Kwok-fai and Tang Chung-wang, photojournalists from Next Magazine and Ming Pao respectively, were attacked on the same day. Tang said that he was attacked right outside of the stage (set up by the organisers) where many police officers stationed, the closest officer is three to four steps away from himself. Only over a minute after the attack, an officer from the Police Public Relations Bureau went over to the scene, no police officer provided assistance throughout the event. Law thinks that there were plenty of police around the area and interfered the incident as soon as he was pushed over the first time, the next two pushes could have been prevented and Tang would not have been injured. He said that violence should not be tolerated, as it infringes of freedoms of press and expression.
Lui Chi-lok, convener of Hong Kong Journalist Association’s press freedom group, said that based on the footage and photos, police officers were not far from where the attack took place. He could not understand why non of the officers on-site tried to stop the attacks. The HKJA demands the police to investigate the attacks and evaluate whether there was any negligence from the police. He also criticised that the police on-site failed to enforce the law decisively and immediately in order to ensure the safety of the journalists.
There were reports suggesting that the police sent over a substantial amount of officers to protect a black top man who was suspected to have attacked a supporter of Ms Lam. The police force has finally responded to inquiries about the incident and said “it is believed that the relevant individual is a off-duty police officer”. A spokesperson from Independent Police Complaints Council said that once the police force receives a complaint, the IPCC will start to look into the matter. Since the incident has generated broad public concerns, they have approached the Complaints Against Police Office for information. The IPCC has received around 25 inquiries and opinions about the incident since last weekend.
Ms Lam said during a radio interview yesterday that she would not apologise to the police officers she told off. However, she is sorry for the inconvenience caused to the school she teaches at. She wishes the matter has come to an end, but said that if she ever witness any injustice, she will speak up.