Democrat Ted Hui has said he was struck by a car in Kennedy Town on Friday night, suffering minor injuries before police escorted the vehicle from the scene.
The Democratic Party lawmaker said that the car had been following him for days. Footage circulating online showed that, when he approached the vehicle on Sands Street, police tackled him to the ground.
“I saw a car was following me, and they’ve been following me for a few days,” Hui told the press, adding that the men tried to run away when he questioned them about their identity. “They start the car and drive, and hit me slightly.”
Here’s Hui describing the incident pic.twitter.com/CAaEBrVwKL— Austin Ramzy (@austinramzy) August 14, 2020
He said that when police arrived, they refused to search the vehicle or ask the driver to step out.
Hui said then tried to stop the car from leaving before he was tackled by an officer.
Ming Pao reported that the men in the car were journalists from the state-run outlet Ta Kung Pao. Photos of the vehicle’s paperwork showed that it was registered in August, whilst other shots showed that it was carrying a plate from the Civil Engineering and Development Department.
The police have appealed for witnesses and are treating the case as a traffic accident with a person injured. “[T]he informant refused to give any statement at scene and refused to go to the hospital for medical examination,” they said in a Facebook post on Friday. “The driver and the passenger concerned were requested to provide witness statements at police station and the driver was arranged to undergo a screening breath test.”
The force said the men were journalists and the driver passed a breath test. The statement also took aim at the media: “[T]he Police are aware that certain media have misreported the above-mentioned incident and fabricated the malicious rumour that the officers released the driver concerned without proper investigation. Such rumour-mongering is regrettable.”
In response to the incident, human rights research Patrick Poon tweeted: “It’s getting more and more bizarre every day in Hong Kong. It’s really NOT the HK we knew.”
Security law fears
The incident came after activist Joshua Wong told the BBC last month that he was also being followed by unknown men. And it comes a day after Canadian parliamentarians were warned that its 300,000 citizens in the city were at risk of arrest under the new national security law.
According to the Globe and Mail, witnesses told MPs on the House of Commons Special Committee on Canada-China Relations that the new national security officers can arrest Canadians and Beijing could prevent them from leaving.
In June, Beijing inserted national security legislation directly into city’s mini-constitution – bypassing the local legislature – following a year of pro-democracy protests and unrest. It criminalised subversion, secession, foreign interference and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to public transport and other infrastructure. The move gave police sweeping new powers, alarming democrats, civil society groups and trade partners, as such laws have been used broadly to silence and punish dissidents in China.