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.

【 2020.05.08 】樂富現場樂富連儂牆有軍裝警員到場,現場人士指較早前有約四十名異見人士襲擊路人,幾十個異見人士手持疑似伸縮警棍及錘仔,據聞有刀手,突然襲擊現場街坊,襲擊後捉走了其中一名女街坊,再分批上了兩架的士離去。警方有曾試過追住的士但因為現場有太多的事而追不上。現時暫時未有議員到場,救護車已到達,幫助受傷市民。大部分施襲者於警方到場前已離去,警方將三名仍在現場的疑似施襲者帶走,未知是否拘捕。就現場所見,暫時約有4名市民被異見人士襲擊,其中1名市民被拉上車,暫時未知去向,其餘3名市民目測有外傷,包括被打甩牙、眼部受傷。現場亦見一名懷疑襲擊者,身上有兩個疑似防狼器,疑曾於五月一日滋擾於觀塘的工人街站。直播記者:J仔—————————————————————​香城公民媒體 ​Hong Kong Citizen Media​https://hkcitizenmedia.com/​​Facebook:​https://www.facebook.com/HK.CitizenMedia/Instagram:​https://www.instagram.com/hk.citizenmedia/#香城公民媒體 #hongkongcitizenmedia #hkcitizenmedia #新聞自由 #真相 #公民媒體 #公民記者 #不誇張 #不失實 #不做假 #公正 #公義 #香港 #hongkong #

Posted by 香城公民媒體 on Thursday, 7 May 2020

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.