Journalist Lee Siu-lung is seeking compensation from the government after being allegedly assaulted and beaten up by the police during the pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014.
Lee is a broadcast engineer at Now TV. The writ, filled at the High Court on Wednesday, said that the government bore legal responsibility as the police officer’s employer.
Lee was arrested for assaulting a police officer with a ladder whilst reporting at the protests, but was later released owing to a lack of evidence, Ming Pao reported. According to the writ, Lee was subjected to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and suffered false imprisonment by a number of police officers on Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, at around 9pm on November 25, 2014.
The writ claimed that Lee was pressed onto the ground by the officers, who sat on – and stepped on – him, as well as punched and kicked him for around one-and-a-half minutes. Lee said that he felt dizzy and experienced pain all over following the alleged attack, and he was accompanied by the police to the hospital for an inspection of his injuries.
Lee received injuries to his left hands and fingers, knees, the back of his right ear, his left rib, elbows and left canthus, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and later displayed symptoms of emotional and mental distress, according to the writ.
Lee made a report following the incident, but the police did not charge anyone. He also launched a private prosecutions action with the court.
Now TV said in a statement that the legal action was Lee’s personal decision, and that the station as Lee’s employer fully supported him in seeing justice.
In 2014, following the incident, Now TV had condemned the force’s “unreasonable detention” of Lee and threatened legal action. Lee was released unconditionally after 24 hours.
The hearing of the case has been scheduled for May 17, 2018.