Two journalists were arrested as Hong Kong police stormed shopping malls on Sunday following protests.
With no large-scale demonstrations planned, some protesters called for “shopping” stunts in seven districts including Admiralty, Mong Kok, Tsuen Wan, Wong Tai Sin, Tai Po, Sha Tin and Tuen Mun.
Scuffles were most serious at Cityplaza in Tai Koo, where pro-democracy district councillor Andrew Chiu had his ear bitten off after the assailant slashed several people with a knife.
According to lawmaker Charles Mok, Chiu’s ear was reconnected after an operation: “His status is stable but we will have to see if its function will recover,” Mok said.
Most of the protests began peacefully as sit-in events at shopping malls. At Cityplaza, residents formed human chains and sang protest songs, whilst a group of masked protesters vandalised a restaurant in the mall.
At around 6pm, police stormed the mall and arrested several people. “Police warn the masked rioters to stop all destructive and illegal acts and appeal to the protestors to stay rational and calm. They should refrain from obstructing Police’s action,” the force said in a statement.
【再有片段證記者合理採訪 《立場新聞》強烈譴責警方無理拘捕 要求立即釋放記者】《立場新聞》一名特約攝影記者，11 月 3 日晚在太古城中心採訪期間，被警方以涉嫌阻差辦公拘捕。《立場》記者被捕前，正與其他記者在同一位置拍攝警方拘捕一名少年的情況。據在場網媒「白夜媒體」拍攝的另一角度片段，《立場新聞》記者（身穿橙衣者）被捕前，與警方拘捕少年行動保持相當距離，完全沒有阻礙警方工作，惟多名防暴警員突然衝前，將記者強壓在地上拘捕。《立場新聞》強烈譴責警方無理拘捕，阻礙正常採訪工作，要求警方立即釋放被捕記者。該特約攝影記者自 6 月示威浪潮至今一直代表《立場新聞》在現場採訪，表現專業；《立場新聞》強調，記者有權在現場採訪。相關報道：立場記者太古城採訪期間被捕 被指阻差辦公立場譴責警方無理拘捕 要求立即放人https://bit.ly/33cThZ0【立場社論】歷史會判我們無罪https://bit.ly/2NxJ1E2白夜 White Night
Posted by Stand News 立場新聞 on Sunday, 3 November 2019
Joey Kwok, a freelance photojournalist working for Stand News, was arrested and handcuffed on suspicion of obstructing police as he was taking photos at the mall.
Stand News said Kwok was at standing at a distance from police officers and did not obstruct their work. The news outlet condemned the arrest as unreasonable and demanded his immediate release.
“He has said he was a journalist multiple times when he was arrested, but it was ignored by the police,” Stand News said.
Hong Kong has now entered into its 22nd weekend of protest and unrest, which was sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed fugitive transfers to mainland China.
A journalism student, who is a member of the Hong Kong Baptist University Students’ Union Editorial Board, was also arrested at the mall whilst covering the news.
Posted by 香港浸會大學學生會編輯委員會 Hong Kong Baptist University Students’ Union Editorial Board on Sunday, 3 November 2019
Roland Chin, the university’s president, said in an email to students, alumni and staff members that the school was deeply concerned about the student’s well-being.
He said the head of the Department of Journalism and a lawyer have visited the police station to provide assistance. The student’s family members have been notified.
Posted by 城市廣播 City Broadcasting Channel (CBC) on Sunday, 3 November 2019
“We are also liaising with the relevant government agencies in our effort to seek a fair and proper treatment for the other students arrested by the police over the weekend,” Chin said.
The student claimed police threatened him with rape at the San Uk Ling Holding Centre when he was arrested. “I would not commit suicide,” the student shouted, in reference to a spate of recent deaths which some in the protest movement believe to be suspicious.
Shopping mall protests
Police officers also stormed other malls. At around 1:40pm, officers took eight people away from a gathering outside Sha Tin Town Hall.
At 4pm, police stormed the New Town Plaza from the bus terminus below, arresting at least two. Some threw objects at police inside the mall, as officers pointed their rifles at people and fired pepper spray.
Similar scenes also occurred at Tai Po Mega Mall and Diamond Hill’s Plaza Hollywood. At the Mega Mall, some protesters were folding origami cranes to form protest slogans whilst others trashed a Yoshinoya branch in the mall, believing that the restaurant has sided with the government. Officers then rushed into the mall but did not make any arrests.
At around 6pm, police rushed into the Tai Po mall again, despite a commander ordering them not to do so. Apple Daily footage showed that the commander had to enter the mall and shout: “No-one enter the mall… go back and reform [team] at the bridge.”
Residents gathered again at the mall and riot police entered for the third time at around 7pm to arrest two people, prompting onlookers to throw objects at police from above. Officers fired pepper spray and pointed their rifles at them.
Tseung Kwan O incident
Meanwhile, protesters gathered in Tseung Kwan O following rumours that a police officer was getting married at the Crowne Plaza hotel. At around 1am, police fired tear gas to disperse them.
A student from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology appeared to be trying to escape the tear gas when he fell from a car park’s third floor onto the second floor. He was unconscious and rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Jordan.
The student was in a critical condition and underwent an operation to remove haematoma from his brain. Wei Shyy, president of the university, visited the student on Monday morning at the hospital.
Chiu is running in the District Council election’s Tai Koo Shing West constituency. Kacee Ting of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong is also running.
Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.
- 5 years on: I was one of China’s rights lawyers – detained, tortured but hopeful for the future
- Hong Kong security law: New police powers to surveil lawyers a ‘major threat’, barrister and legal scholars say
- Hong Kong legislative primaries may violate national security law, mainland affairs minister warns