Eight firemen belonging to the Tsim Sha Tsui Fire Station have been suspended after accusations of bullying and sexual assault surfaced.

According to reports, news of the incident first became known on whatsapp groups, where images of a young man being surrounded and seemingly bullied by several others were circulated. Most of the men were half-naked or donning blue shirts.

In another picture, the victim was pinned onto a table while surrounding men appeared to inserting a creamy substance into his private parts. The fireman was said to be a new recruit.

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The victim surrounded by several other men.

The victim, who reported the incident to the police on Tuesday, said that he believed he was picked because he was introverted and did not dare to fight back. On several occasions over the past year, his co-workers had allegedly performed sexual acts on him. A police spokesperson said that the Kowloon West regional crime unit were investigating the matter and no one had been arrested yet.

Director of Fire Services Lai Man-hin said that the firemen involved in the incident will be suspended starting Saturday. He also said that this was a one-off incident and the primary responsibility of firefighters was to help those in need. “The department will deal with this strictly according to our existing procedures… we will not tolerate such behaviour or any breaches of disciplinary regulations,” he said.

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Fire Services Director Lai Man-hin. Photo: RTHK.

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said that he was extremely concerned about the matter and that he disapproved of any uncivilised behaviour. He also said that the disciplinary forces should be a role model of behaviour for citizens in Hong Kong.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.