Police hit me inside van, at station: detainee - RTHK
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Police hit me inside van, at station: detainee

2019-09-04 HKT 12:23
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  • An arrested protester tells RTHK that officers repeatedly hit him while he was in a police vehicle and later at their station in Hung Hom. Photo: RTHK
    An arrested protester tells RTHK that officers repeatedly hit him while he was in a police vehicle and later at their station in Hung Hom. Photo: RTHK
Wendy Wong reports
A man who was arrested last month has told RTHK that he was beaten up and abused by the police while in one of their vehicles and again at a police station, and was not allowed see his lawyer for six to seven hours.

The man, who called himself Chan, said in an exclusive interview that he had been subdued and arrested along with a group of people at a protest on the night of August 10.

He said he was not resisting the officers in anyway, but still got treated violently after he and others who were arrested were taken into the police vehicle.

"They continued to beat us up, stepped on our heads and bodies, pressed their knees against my hand and then twisted it back. Once we got into the police vehicle, they immediately pulled down the curtain," he recalled.

"They then smashed my head against the iron bars and chairs in the car, and continued to beat us up. They also hit me on my back, pushed some of us under the seats and continued to search my body to see what else they could find. They also strongly squeezed my genitals," Chan said.

Chan said that after he was taken to Hung Hom Police Station, he was taken to a room where officers conducted another body search.

Chan said he thinks officers didn't want him to recognise them so they asked him to keep his face close to a desk.

A group of police then surrounded him and verbally insulted him, calling him a "cockroach" and warning him that he was "doomed", Chan said.

"An officer asked if I wanted to drink any water. I didn't answer. He then splashed a cup of water in my face. Another came to ask if I would like to see his warrant card, he then waved his warrant card in front of me but I couldn't see any details on it," he said.

Chan said he wasn't able to guess the time throughout the incident, and he estimated that he was only allowed to see his lawyer the next morning – six to seven hours after his arrest.

By that time, he said he was seriously injured and needed hospitalisation.

Although Chan has filed a complaint to the police over his ordeal, he said he is worried it won't be successful.

"They [the police] cannot guarantee our safety. It seems that they are not under control and can beat up anyone. I feel powerless that even if I complain, it is not going to achieve anything. But I will keep complaining, because this is outrageous," he said.

Chan, who said he is the breadwinner of his family, said being as he has been charged, he doesn't dare to go to the frontlines of future protests. But he said he will continue joining demonstrations.

Human Rights Monitor said the abuse of power by the police has reached an "unacceptable" level and the force doesn't seem bothered about toning it down.

The group's spokeswoman, Claudia Yip, added that an independent inquiry is still needed to find out the truth, because she doubts whether the current complaints system against the force is working.

The police were yet to respond to RTHK's inquiries about Chan's account.