Hong Kong: Police officers in attack on handcuffed protester must face justice

The Hong Kong police officers who were involved in the beating and kicking of a handcuffed pro-democracy protester in the early hours of this morning must face justice, Amnesty International said.

Local television news footage shows social worker Ken Tsang Kin Chiu being taken away by six police officers with his hands tied behind his back.  The police officers then appear to carry him around a corner and put him on the ground. The publicly available video shows that some officers then repeatedly kick and punch him while he is curled-up in a ball. Other police officers are seen standing nearby.

Amnesty spoke to Tsang’s lawyer who confirmed the details of the attack, and said that Tsang has been taken by police to a local hospital to receive medical treatment. Police have since said they will conduct an investigation into the incident.

Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, said:

“This appears to be a vicious attack against a detained man who posed no threat to the police. Any investigation into this incident must be carried out promptly and all individuals involved in unlawful acts must be prosecuted.

“All those being held solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly must be immediately and unconditionally released.

“Amnesty International urges the Hong Kong police to show restraint and avoid any unlawful use of force.”

According to the lawyer, Tsang was initially arrested for assaulting a police officer. The charges against him were then changed to unlawful assembly and obstructing police officers from carrying out their duties. He remains in police custody and will be interviewed after receiving medical treatment.

The incident occurred at around 3am today as police attempted to remove pro-democracy protesters who had occupied a road just off the main protest site in central Hong Kong. Police used pepper-spray against scores of protesters. According to police, 45 people were arrested.

The police have stepped-up operations this week to remove barricades set up by pro-democracy protesters in an effort to reduce the areas occupied by demonstrators.

Notes to editors

Amnesty's human rights experts in Hong Kong continue to monitor the authorities' response to protests around the clock.

On twitter follow @amnestychina, @amnestyhk, @patrickpoon @williamnee


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