A Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) student has accused the police of “sexual violence” when she was arrested and detained at a police station.
The university’s vice-chancellor Rocky Tuan met students at a public forum on the campus on Thursday. Over 30 CUHK students have been arrested during the ongoing protests.
At the 1,438-seat Sir Run Run Shaw Hall, student Sonia Ng – who studies early childhood education – said she had spoken about her case at two press conferences, as well as a protest rally, albeit under a pseudonym.
Ng said she was arrested at Prince Edward MTR station on August 31, and she was sent to Princess Margaret Hospital, Kwai Chung Police Station and San Uk Ling Holding Centre.
“Do you know that when we get arrested, police will take away and switch off our phones, swear at us, force us to go wherever they like, enter dark rooms, remove our clothes?” she said. “Do you know the body search room in San Uk Ling is all dark? Do you know I am not the only one who suffered sexual violence by the police? Other arrestees have suffered sexual assaults and torture by more than one officer, regardless of gender,” she said.
Ng first spoke whilst wearing a mask, before she removed it and showed her face: “I am willing to be courageous and take off my mask. Would you be brave and support us, and condemn police violence towards all the arrested people, including Chinese University students?” she said.
Tuan said he condemned all violence: “I have said violence is wrong, including police violence.”
Ng later said on her Facebook account on Friday that she was sexually assaulted at Kwai Chung Police Station. In a testimony she gave at a protest rally on September 27, she accused a male officer of hitting her breast.
More than 8,000 Chinese University teachers, staff, students and alumni have signed a petition expressing support for Ng.
The police issued a statement at midnight said that they were aware of Ng’s accusation.
“The Police accord high priority to such a serious allegation,” it said. “So far, the Complaints Against Police Office has not received any complaint of sexual assault related to the San Uk Ling Holding Centre. We will proactively contact the female and appeal to her to provide concrete evidence so that we can launch a fair fact-finding investigation as soon as possible.”
After the dialogue session, as Tuan was leaving the hall, students surrounded him and urged him to follow up on alleged police violence cases more actively. Two students kneeled down to plea with him.
Dennis Ng and Eric Ng, two university vice-presidents, tried to comfort students. Dennis Ng embraced the students, but Tuan was accused of not taking any action.
Students then blocked Tuan’s car as he tried to leave. After a short while, Tuan decided to stay and speak to students at an hour-long closed-door session without any media presence.
Tuan then told students and reporters that he was touched by the conversation.
He promised the university would issue a condemnation statement against police violence and will set up a committee to listen to student concerns. Tuan shook hands with attendees before he left.
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