Hong Kong police have been accused of protecting assailants who attacked residents in front of a pro-democracy message board in Lok Fu.

Carmen Lau, District Councillor for Wang Tau Hom constituency, where the incident took place, cited eyewitnesses as saying a group had brought shovels and cutters to remove posters containing pro-democracy messages at a “Lennon Wall” at around 12:45am on Friday. Several residents of a nearby estate spotted them and two groups quarrelled over their opposing political views.

Photo: Carmen Lau, via Facebook.

The group allegedly attacked the residents with hammers and other tools, according to Lau. She told HKFP that she thought the incident resembled the Yuen Long attack last July, where police were accused of turning a blind eye to an armed mob attack.

“By the time police officers arrived at the scene, the attackers were still present, yet they were allowed to leave without being questioned or arrested,” she said, adding that officers refused to jot down the personal details of attackers identified by eyewitnesses. After giving their testimonies, the eyewitnesses were allegedly arrested on suspicion of participating in an unlawful assembly.

Five people were sent away in an ambulance and treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Lau said.

The force released a statement on Friday evening confirming that 15 people were arrested on suspicion of common assault, fighting in public and an unlawful assembly.

“[The arrested persons and victims] fought over opposing political views and, afterwards, were arrested under suspicion of assaulting each other with their arms and legs,” the statement read.

Lau said she condemned both the attackers and police: “As they remove one poster from the Lennon Wall, we will stick a thousand more later, but you cannot harm people with opposing view this way… as for the police, they unscrupulously shielded the attackers.”

Photo: Hong Kong Citizen Media screenshot.

Asked by HKFP to comment on the accusations, police said they had no further comments.

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Rachel Wong

Rachel Wong previously worked as a documentary producer and academic researcher. She has a BA in Comparative Literature and European Studies from the University of Hong Kong. She has contributed to A City Made by People and The Funambulist, and has an interest in cultural journalism and gender issues.