Activist Ken Tsang, who was allegedly assaulted by seven police officers in October 2014 during the pro-democracy Occupy protests, told the court on Monday that he was “slapped hard” in the face as police demanded that he unlock his phone. He was testifying before the court at the trial of seven police officers.

Each officer was charged with wounding or striking with intent to do grievous bodily harm. One of them was also charged with an extra count of common assault. The seven pleaded not guilty.

Defendants of the Ken Tsang assault case. File photo: Stand News.

In 2014, Tsang was allegedly assaulted by police officers near the government headquarters in Tamar, Admiralty, during the Occupy demonstrations. After the incident, he was taken to a private car with one police officer on each side, Tsang told the court. He was then driven to the Central police station, where he was then taken to Room 7. Tsang said he could see the room numbers clearly even though his vision was affected by pepper spray.

In the room, one of the officers handed him a plastic bag and asked him to put his personal belongs inside. Police officers went in and out of the room, he said, and he took out his phone to take a picture of his own face. He said that he believed that the police had discovered the move, leading to their request for him to unlock his phone.

Protester Ken Tsang was moved by seven police and allegedly punched and kicked him. Photo: Apple Daily.

According to Tsang, as the police discussed whether they would take his finger and force him to unlock his phone with his fingerprint,he told them to “not be so dumb” and that a password was needed after the phone was shut off.

He was then “slapped hard” twice by a police officer after he refused to open it and placed his phone back inside the evidence bag. Tsang said he refused again after being slapped.

Tsang denies hating police

Cheng Huan, who represents one of the defendants, asked what Tsang meant by his Facebook posts, which said “I have waited a year and more and finally have waited until the seven are sitting in the dock. That excitement, I don’t know how to explain it,” and “I will wait [translated literally as ‘lengthen my eyes’] and see how long you can be carefree for.” When asked what he was waiting for, Tsang explained that he was waiting for justice. He also said that “lengthen my eyes” meant waiting.

Ken Tsang. File photo: P.H. Yang.

Cheng said that Tsang hates the police and does not respect the police. Tsang denied both statements.

The seven defendants are a chief inspector, a senior inspector and five junior officers. The officers are from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, the Kwun Tong and Kowloon City Regional Police departments and the Kowloon Regional Headquarters.

The trial continues on Tuesday, when Tsang will continue to give his testimony.


Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.