The police has said that Demosistō ignored their assessment that it was inappropriate for them to meet with press at the airport on Sunday. The official comment came after lawmaker Nathan Law was attacked by pro-China protesters upon his arrival Sunday evening.

The pro-democracy party released a statement slamming the police following the assault at the Hong Kong International Airport. “In fact, before returning to Hong Kong, our team had already notified the Hong Kong Police Force to pay attention to the situation, however, the police did not take appropriate measures to avoid the attack,” Demosistō said.

nathan law press con
Photo: Facebook via 香港眾志 Demosistō.

Law, along with Demosistō’s Joshua Wong and lawmakers Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, were in Taiwan attending a forum hosted by the New Power Party. The group held a press conference on Monday afternoon, giving details about their trip and criticising the Hong Kong police’s handling of the incident. They compared the performance of local police with that of Taiwan police, saying that the latter was able to adequately protect them throughout the visit.

“The arrangements did not allow me to enjoy my personal freedom under safe circumstances or let journalists do their job – I think there’s a lot of room for improvement there,” Law told RTHK on Tuesday morning.

“If you look at Taiwan – once I arrived at the airport hall, there were also clashes – there might have been even more people there – but the Taiwanese police formed a human chain,” he said, adding that this was a serious incident and the local police should investigate whether any elements of organised crime were involved.

nathan law attacked

However, a police spokesperson said on Monday evening that after conducting a risk assessment and taking into account considerations of public safety, they told Demosistō it was inappropriate for them to meet with the media in the arrivals hall, but they ignored the advice.

The police also said they were in contact with airport staff throughout the incident, and that officers had intervened once there were clashes on the scene, escorting the relevant individuals away from the area and ensuring public order and safety.

They added that they were now actively investigating the case. Prior to the incident, they did not receive any applications for protests.

The spokesperson said journalists should pay attention to their safety while reporting on the scene and if they come across any problems, they can seek help from officers.

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.