Pro-independence activist Andy Chan has said that two arrested protesters suffered ill-treatment when in Hong Kong police custody. At a Wednesday press conference, Chan said he was asked by the pair to talk about their cases, including one who was charged with rioting in Sheung Wan on July 28.

When one of the protesters was detained, an officer told him that unlimited water refills were available – but the water appeared to be salty.

Andy Chan
Andy Chan.

“Where can someone found salty water in a common office? You can think about that,” Chan said. The water was thought to be from a toilet, as flushing systems in Hong Kong were converted to use seawater in the 1970s amid droughts.

The other protester was arrested in Sha Tin on July 14 night for unlawful assembly, despite participating in a lawful protest outside the Sha Tin Town Hall. Chan said the protester asked for a lawyer and requested water three times between 11pm and 2am, but the requests were not answered until 4am.

The water supplied was also suspected to be toilet water since it was salty, he said.

‘Political suppression’

Chan himself was among eight who were arrested on August 1 after Hong Kong police raided an industrial building unit in Fo Tan. He was detained on suspicion of possessing offensive weapons.

He said that, when his home was searched, the reason stated on the search warrant was “possession of instrument fit for unlawful purposes.” Chan was not charged, and was released on HK$1,000 bail.

“The government was smearing us, but Hong Kong people have not abandoned us, and I thank them for it. We have successfully defused the Communist Party’s tactic to split us,” he said. He urged the public to withdraw cash from banks on Friday, en masse, in protest.

Another unnamed person arrested in Fo Tan also appeared in a face mask and sunglasses at the press conference. She said she was denied access to her lawyer and a phone call when she was arrested for possessing offensive weapons, and was also denied access to her lawyer as Fo Fan the unit was searched.

woman Fo Tan industrial unit
A woman arrested at a Fo Tan industrial unit.

A second search took place at her home for “possession of instrument fit for unlawful purposes,” rather than for weapons. But she said no relevant weapons or instruments were found there, but the police took their electronic devices instead.

“We suspect the arrests were intended to create white terror, and aimed at finding out who was in our circle, so that they can suppress the movement,” she said.

Wayne Chan
Wayne Chan (left).

Meanwhile, Students’ Independence Union Convener Wayne Chan said at the press conference that a member of his group was arrested on July 20 after the police raided a warehouse containing explosives, but the person concerned had never been to the warehouse.

Chan said the police could not found any evidence of the member having explosives. They were ultimately charged with an offence unrelated to explosives and released on a HK$10,000 bail.

“We have reason to believe the police were using tricks to conduct unreasonable arrests for political suppression,” he said.

Chan said red paint was poured outside his home, among other threats, by people he suspected to be from mainland China.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

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.