Chief Executive Carrie Lam has distanced herself from a claim repeated by a senior government adviser that young women are providing free sex to protesters.

In response to a listener’s email on an RTHK programme, Executive Council member Fanny Law said on Monday that she had received confirmation that underaged “comfort” girls were being provided to frontline protesters. When pressed by a caller to provide evidence for the allegation, the former education chief doubled down claiming that she had “direct” but “second-hand knowledge” that one of the girls was a 14-year-old daughter of a friend’s friend.


Asked about Law’s remarks at her weekly press conference on Tuesday morning, Lam said that they represented the adviser’s own view while urging people to be rational when confronting unverified claims.

“I would say that those comments are representing her own personal views. But I would like to take this in a broader context,” she said. “In the last couple [of] months or so, there were a lot of fake news or rumours or speculation circulating on… social media.”

“[If] somebody suspects that offences have been made, then they should report to the police, or at least they should consult the professionals including their own family members,” Lam said. “Every one of us including government officials, because we are also receiving a lot of [that] information circulating in the social media, we have to be extremely cautious in ascertaining whether it is accurate.”

The leader added that the government has sought to provide timely clarifications in order to debunk “unfounded rumours and speculations” circulating online.

Fanny Law.

Local fact-checking team Kauyim Media called on Law to provide evidence for the claim and apologise if she is unable to do so.

The allegation comes as netizens have circulated unverified claims that up to six people died during a mass arrest at Prince Edward MTR station on August 31. On the night in question, elite officers were filmed storming the platform and leaving several injured before ushering out reporters and first-aiders. The MTR Corporation has since been accused of colluding with the police for refusing to publicise CCTV footage of the incident, prompting some protesters to vandalise stations.

The rumours come as protests enter their 14th week, sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill which would have allowed case-by-case fugitive transfers to China. Since June, large-scale peaceful protests have morphed into sometimes violent displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment and alleged police brutality.

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Jennifer Creery

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.