Hong Kong police seized five computers and other electronic equipment including monitors from the Polytechnic University’s (PolyU) student union on Friday after obtaining a search warrant to investigate an alleged rioting offence.

The campus in Hung Hom was the apex of fierce clashes between pro-democracy protesters and police which culminated in an almost two-week-long siege last November.

Protester with umbrellas enshrouded with tear gas near Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Photo: Jimmy Lam/United Social Press

The union wrote on social media the day before that police said they would arrive at 8 am. However, officers did not show up until noon.

The two-hour-long search related to an incident where a police media liaison officer was shot in the calf with an arrow on November 17 last year during a street clash, local media reported. Officers reportedly requested a list of members of the PolyU Archery Club. They also took away two boxes of evidence.

Student Union President Michael Ng told HKFP that the union had turned down previous requests from the force to search the conference room of the union or provide information without a warrant.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, union Vice-President Chan Ka-hei said police prevented the student representatives from filming the search over privacy concerns.

A police media liaison officer is shot in the leg with an arrow on November 17 at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Photo: Apple Daily.

When they tried to peer through the window into the room where the search was taking place, an officer blocked their view, he added.

【警方將以搜查令搜查理大】香港理工大學學生會收到通知,警方將於明天( 2020年7月17日)早上八時,手持搜查令,搜查香港理工大學校園範圍。警方聲稱該手令是用以調查一宗暴動罪,據知與當日理大事件中發生的事情有關。學生會將會全力跟進此事,請各界關注的友好朋友關注並廣傳之,我們會定時向公眾報告事態發展。

Posted by 香港理工大學學生會 hkpusu on Thursday, 16 July 2020

Ng said police did not provide them with a reason for the search and only presented one to the Magistrate to obtain a warrant.

The union said it would actively follow up on the issue and keep the public updated.

HKFP has contacted the police for comment.


Jennifer Creery

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.