A man arrested near a protest on Sunday has been granted release after his lawyer filed an application accusing the police of unlawful detention.

The man, whose identity was not revealed by court records, was arrested at around 4pm in Jordan, where hundreds of thousands were protesting against the government’s anti-mask law. His lawyer, Hectar Pun, said he did not have any protest equipment on him at the time, according to Ming Pao. The man was reportedly only told he had been arrested for unlawful assembly when he arrived at the police station.

high court
File photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

An application for a writ of habeas corpus – used to report unlawful detention – was filed by the man’s lawyers on Sunday.

The High Court held an emergency hearing on the matter at around 5pm on Monday. Pun said the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the police were notified about the proceeding, but their representatives did not make an appearance.

Hectar Pun. File Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP

Pun told the court that he had asked the police to reveal the identity of the officer who had arrested his client, but the force provided three different answers.

The force first said the officer belonged to the Police Tactical Unit, but refused to provide a name owing to the sensitivity of the issue. Police then said they did not know the identity of the officer, before saying the officer belonged to the Commercial Crime Bureau.

Pun said the arrest and detention of his client were unlawful and that he should be released soon.

Judge Anderson Chow Ka-ming
Anderson Chow Ka-ming. File photo: GovHK.

Mr Justice Anderson Chow decided to postpone the case in order to wait for a reply from the DoJ and the police.

A DoJ representative arrived at the court after the hearing was suspended, and said that the man would be released, without elaborating on the reason behind the decision.

Pun then postponed his application until further notice.

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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.