Hundreds marched spontaneously in Central on Friday afternoon after a Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) student claimed she was sexually assaulted by an officer at a police station.

The protesters gathered at Chater Garden in Central at 12:30pm. Police officers appeared and raised a yellow flag warning that protesters were in breach of the law and may be prosecuted. But they took no action and protesters marched along Des Voeux Road Central.

Central protest

It came after CUHK student Sonia Ng on Thursday publicly accused the police of sexual assault when she was arrested and detained at Kwai Chung Police Station. On Friday morning, Ng said on Commercial Radio that a male officer hit her breast, and two female officers watched her while she was in the toilet.

Many of the protesters in Central were masked, although – under the anti-mask law recently enacted by the government – protesters may face a year in jail if convicted.

Oct 11 Central protest

“Five demands not one less,” they chanted. “Hong Kong people, resist! Disband the Hong Kong police force!”

A female protester said it was her second time to join a flash mob march in Central, because her workplace was nearby.

Oct 11 Central protest

“There have been so many negative forces, we need a way to express our feelings,” she told Apple Daily. “We felt very bad [for Sonia Ng] the whole morning. We want to do whatever we can in support.”

Protesters marched with a large banner that read “Hong Kong police intentionally murder people,” referring to unverified rumours that protesters died following police detention.

Oct 11 Central protest

They marched west, turned into Queen Victoria Street, and changed direction to walk east on Connaught Road Central back towards Chater Garden, ending the march. Demonstrators redirected traffic as they marched.

On Friday, Sonia Ng also said that she received harassing phone calls from mainland Chinese numbers after she spoke on Thursday.

一批市民響應網上號召快閃中環遊行,中午去到中環遮打花園集會,聲援中大一名女學生指控在被捕期間受到警方性暴力對待。下午一時許,約千名市民在中環遊行,佔據了部分德輔道中及電車路。遊行人士去到交易廣場附近掉頭折返遮打花園方向。有人拿著一幅指責警方的直幡,部分人拿著「指責黑警性暴力」的標語,邊行邊喊:「香港人反抗,Stand with Hong Kong」 等口號。

Posted by Stand News 立場新聞 on Thursday, 10 October 2019

The Complaints Against Police Office, an internal police department, has launched an investigation into Ng’s accusation. The office said it has not yet been able to reach her.

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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.