Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui has filed a court application in the hope of forcing police to reveal the chemical ingredients of tear gas used at recent protests.

The force has deployed more than 16,000 rounds of tear gas during the protests which have been ongoing for more than seven months. They have consistently refused to disclose the ingredients.

september 15 China extradition tear gas admiralty
Photo: Studio Incendo.

Hui said top officials, including Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan, have refused to answer questions about the ingredients at the legislature.

“They arbitrarily said that [tear gas] did not affect health and public hygiene. But members of the public were very concerned,” he said outside court.

“The police should not act without any limitation and any transparency when using their weapons. I hope the court will see that this is a reasonable application,” he added.

Ted Hui
Ted Hui. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

A hearing for Hui’s “pre-action discovery” application will be held on February 12 at the High Court. The application is the first step before a judicial review and an injunction application over the use of tear gas, Hui said.

Hui said he will file more applications in the future over alleged police brutality cases after a successful crowdfunding campaign for the legal proceedings.

Ted Hui application
Photo: Handout.

Victor Yeung, a solicitor representing Hui and also a Democratic Party district councillor, said the police have outright refused to reveal the ingredients of the crowd control tool.

“It seems the only choice for us is to go to the court,” he said. “We cannot expect the government to do anything for the public. We can only seek justice at the court.”

Last week, Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee said that ordinary laundry procedures can handle tear gas residue that may be embedded in clothing.

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.