A police group has criticised the vandalism of two gravestones belonging to a pro-Beijing lawmaker’s parents, calling the perpetrators “cockroaches.”

The Junior Police Officers’ Association (JPOA) said in a statement on Thursday that those who damaged the graves belonging to the family of lawmaker Junius Ho could not be called “human.”

“Such low lives can only be called by the name of the insect which is most afraid of light – cockroaches,” said JPOA Chair Lam Chi-wai.

Junius Ho graves
Graves of Junius Ho’s parents vandalised. Photo: LIHKG.

The Civil Human Rights Front, who have organised recent mass anti-extradition law marches in Hong Kong, strongly condemned the choice of language.

It said the JPOA was using “hate speech” to describe protesters.

“This is beyond the moral bottomline of our society, harming the feelings of Hong Kong people,” it said.

The Front said Lam should reflect on himself, retract the statement, and resign as head of the JPOA: “Please stop bringing shame upon the police force during this political storm,” it said.

Lam Chi-wai
Lam Chi-wai. Photo: Screenshot.

The use of dehumanising language is historically controversial. During the tragic events of World War II through to the Rwandan genocide, targetted groups were described as inferior “cockroaches” or “rats.”

Yuen Long attacks

The gravestones were damaged after Ho was accused of colluding with a group of men in white who attacked random people in Yuen Long on July 21. 45 people were injured during the attacks.

Lam described the attacks as a “serious fighting incident” in his statement.

He claimed that, on July 21, some 24,000 emergency calls were made to the police within three hours, and thus police could not respond to the calls quickly. He accused people of trying to paralyse the system.

yuen long july 21 china extradition
Photo: Screenshot.

“Clearly, this is the method often used by hackers to attack servers, in an attempt to create a false image that police did not try to rescue people,” he claimed.

Lam also criticised protesters for throwing ink at the Chinese emblem at the China Liaison Office, saying that the action insulted the “dignity of the Chinese race.”

“All Chinese people are disgusted by such behaviour,” he said.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.