Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

Falun Gong member cleared of hitting ‘unreliable witness’ pro-Beijing activist

Hong Kong’s High Court has acquitted a practitioner of the Falun Gong movement of assaulting a pro-Beijing activist, calling the latter an unreliable witness after she was found to be involved in 92 police reports in less than three years.

Falun Gong practitioner Sze Chu-ming was originally fined HK$3,500 after being convicted by the Magistrates’ Court of hitting the right hand of Hong Kong Youth Care Association member Cheung Lau-ching in Mong Kok in April 2015. Sze then lodged an appeal.

Falun Gong Hong Kong Youth Care Association

Hong Kong Youth Care Association banners. File photo: Clear Sky C via Wikimedia Commons.

Since it was established in 2012, the pro-Beijing Association has been setting up anti-Falun Gong banners and loudspeakers immediately next to the spiritual movement’s demonstration sites in areas of Hong Kong such as Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay.

‘Not a reliable witness’

In his ruling on Wednesday morning, High Court judge Pang Chung-ping said that Cheung was not a reliable witness, and questioned whether Sze had actually hit her right hand.

In a video of the incident submitted to the court, Cheung was heard shouting: “That’s outrageous! You’re hitting my phone!” But the judge questioned why she was never filmed accusing Sze of hitting her hand, news outlet HK01 reported.

In February, police records were also submitted to the court as new evidence, showing that Cheung had been involved in 92 police reports within the past 34 months. She made the initial call to the police in 38 of the cases.

The court was only able to obtain the details of six of the reports, given that most of the files had already been destroyed by the police. Out of the six reports, five were complaints against Falun Gong members alleging nuisance, street obstruction and criminal damage.

falun gong

Simulation of organ harvesting by Falun Gong followers in Hong Kong. File photo: Cory Doctorow via Flickr.

Judge Pang also cited previous cases in which Cheung was a witness, in which colleagues criticised her as an “unreliable witness” whose actions deliberately targeted the Falun Gong.

He overturned the original judgement and acquitted Sze, saying that Cheung’s motive for making the assault allegations were questionable.

The Falun Gong has been declared an “evil cult” in mainland China since authorities cracked down on the movement in 1999. Authorities have since been accused of torturing and harvesting the organs of its members.

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Falun Gong member cleared of hitting 'unreliable witness' pro-Beijing activist