Two anti-independence protesters have been fined HK$3,000 each for assaulting a man who tried to stop a fight during a pro-independence rally last year.
The pro-independence Hong Kong National Party originally planned to host a rally at the Tsim Sha Tsui clock tower on June 30 last year, but the event was cancelled as did not receive approval from the police. At Star House near the clock tower, anti-independence activists and several men who wished to record the scenes nevertheless gathered and clashes unfolded.
According to the prosecution, the duo, Roger Olausen and Giok Kheng, surrounded the men during the clash. Another man who was passing by tried to intervene. Olausen and Giok assaulted the man by pulling his clothes and pushing him. The man reported the case to the police afterwards.
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The duo surrendered themselves to the police on August 10 last year. Olausen admitted to the crime, though Giok initially denied involvement. They were both charged with common assault.
Both admitted to the crime on Wednesday at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts.
Olausen, a day labourer for moving companies, told the court that he believed the passerby was an independence advocate, as the passerby told him to “go back to the mainland,” thus he acted out of anger.
Giok, a transport company porter, also said he assaulted the passerby since he was angered after being told to return to China.
Magistrate Amy Chan said that the two groups of people clashed because of differences in political ideals, and noted that the passerby did not suffer significant injuries. They were handed a HK$3,000 fine each.
Olausen, a British national, was fined for HK$300 in 2014 for criminal damage after he damaged a table in Mong Kok belonging to the Falun Gong group. He said at the time that he committed the crime because of his discontent towards the pro-democracy Occupy protest.
Giok was jailed for three months last December for unlawful assembly and common assault, after he attacked then-lawmaker Nathan Law at the Hong Kong airport. He was released on bail pending appeal.