Hong Kong Free Press HKFP https://www.hongkongfp.com Hong Kong's Independent English Language News Thu, 19 Sep 2019 13:51:02 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Court orders MTR Corp. to preserve CCTV footage of police incidents at two stations https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/19/court-orders-mtr-corp-preserve-cctv-footage-police-incidents-two-stations/ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 11:09:45 +0000 https://www.hongkongfp.com/?p=224944 The High Court has ordered the MTR Corporation (MTRC) to preserve CCTV footage captured on August 31 at Prince Edward and Lai Chi Kok stations pending a hearing over whether the clips must be publicly released. On the night in question, baton-wielding police stormed Prince Edward station making arrests and deploying pepper spray. They ordered journalists […]

The post Court orders MTR Corp. to preserve CCTV footage of police incidents at two stations appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
The High Court has ordered the MTR Corporation (MTRC) to preserve CCTV footage captured on August 31 at Prince Edward and Lai Chi Kok stations pending a hearing over whether the clips must be publicly released. On the night in question, baton-wielding police stormed Prince Edward station making arrests and deploying pepper spray. They ordered journalists to leave and later moved injured people to Lai Chi Kok station.

Kex Leung Yiu-ting, head of Education University’s student union, was arrested at Prince Edward station on the night and said he was beaten by police. Leung said he was passing through the station and was not participating in any protest.

Leung Yiu-ting

Leung Yiu-ting showing poster threatening to kill him, with his address. Photo: inmediahk.net.

He applied to the court for a “Norwich Pharmacal Order” to force the disclosure of the security camera footage.

The MTRC opposed the request, and said in press releases that the relevant footage from the relevant stations would be kept for three years. The lawyer representing Leung said that it would be up to the transit firm to decide what footage would be relevant, though the MTRC did not clearly state if clips from Lai Chi Kok station would be kept, Apple Daily reported.

Judge Anderson Chow said he has no reason to question the intentions of the MTRC, but he cannot ignore the possibility that the firm may erase footage relating to Lai Chi Kok station.

Chow ruled that the recordings must be kept secure until there is a formal hearing over whether the footage must be handed over. He said that both sides should offer potential dates between this December and next March for a hearing.

prince edward mtr august 31 cctv screenshot

At 10:53pm, an evacuation was triggered at Prince Edward Station. Riot Police entered Prince Edward Station via Exit C2. Photo: MTRC.

An initial paramedics’ report at around midnight on August 31 noted that ten people had been hurt in the police raid. But the figure was adjusted about 45 minutes later to just seven, with the three in a critical condition removed from the logs. The change fuelled unsubstantiated rumours that three people had been killed, but the police, fire department and the Hospital Authority have denied the online claims.


Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.

fundraising fundraise banner

The post Court orders MTR Corp. to preserve CCTV footage of police incidents at two stations appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
HK$10m crowdfunding campaign aims to help victims sue Hong Kong police over alleged mistreatment https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/19/hk10m-crowdfunding-campaign-aims-help-victims-sue-hong-kong-police-alleged-mistreatment/ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 11:01:10 +0000 https://www.hongkongfp.com/?p=224935 A group has launched a HK$10 million “sue the abuser” crowdfunding campaign to seek compensation and lodge legal challenges over cases of alleged police mistreatment during the summer’s protests. The funds will be used for hiring expert witnesses and lawyers, and also for legal fees if plaintiffs lose. Donations will be temporarily held in an account belonging […]

The post HK$10m crowdfunding campaign aims to help victims sue Hong Kong police over alleged mistreatment appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
A group has launched a HK$10 million “sue the abuser” crowdfunding campaign to seek compensation and lodge legal challenges over cases of alleged police mistreatment during the summer’s protests.

The funds will be used for hiring expert witnesses and lawyers, and also for legal fees if plaintiffs lose. Donations will be temporarily held in an account belonging to the pro-democracy League of Social Democrats party, and any unused funds will be donated to groups with similar goals.

Six people who are set to take legal action appeared at a Thursday press conference – each was receiving assistance from volunteer lawyers from the Civil Human Rights Front coalition. Four others also plan to file legal challenges against the police, but have chosen to remain low-profile.

sue the abuser

Photo: Apple Daily.

Police have been under fire as footage has emerged in recent months of apparent cases of misconduct. Watchdogs and democrats accuse the force of beating protesters and using crowd control weapons indiscriminately, or against international standards. City-wide unrest was originally triggered by the soon-to-be-withdrawn extradition bill, with large-scale peaceful protests sometimes evolving into violent displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment and alleged police misconduct.

The six at Tuesday’s press briefing included Ng Hong-luen, who said he was beaten by riot police, and cancer patient Ng Ying-mo who was shot with a police projectile – both cases occurred in Admiralty on June 12. They also included Lo Cham-sze, who said he was injured by riot police in Sha Tin on July 14, and Chan Kung-shun who said he was struck with a baton in Tseung Kwan O on August 4. Chan said he was walking in a park with his son, and not taking part in a protest.

The other two included Lam Wai-kwan, who said his arm was broken after he was pushed down by undercover police officers in Causeway Bay on August 11, and Andy Chui, an Eastern district councillor who was arrested in Chai Wan on September 1.

‘Tip of the iceberg’

Chan Kung-shun, who was moderating the press conference, said they expected legal action to take many years. He said the crowdfunding target was suggested by their lawyers as a suitable amount: “You will agree that our cases are barely the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

protest extradition china

Ng Ying-mo after being shot by police. Photo: Lampson Yip.

Chan said he decided to appear in person knowing that they may face more pressure and prosecutions.

“Police often said at their press conferences that they did not use excessive force. I do not understand whether it was excessive force when my head was beaten and bled,” he said. “I cannot agree with this. That’s why we must stand up and tell the truth.”

He said they wished to sue the officers who injured them, but they could only sue Police Commissioner Stephen Lo since individual officers did not display identification: “I believe, because of that, [officers] have a misperception that they can do whatever they like and do not have to bear personal responsibility,” he said.

Chan, Lo and Ng Hong-luen had filed a judicial review on Monday asking the court to demand that police display identification when on duty.

Lam Wai-kwan

Lam Wai-kwan. Photo: Apple Daily.

After being arrested, Lam Wai-kwan was sent to the San Uk Ling Holding Centre near the Chinese border with several other people.

He said that other people at the holding centre had suffered injuries that appeared to be lighter than his. But, when he was sent to a hospital, he noted people had more serious injuries.

“I am not afraid of prosecution by way of revenge,” he said. “If I was afraid, I would be sleeping at home.”

Police have consistently denied misconduct when confronted with cases at recent press conferences. Top brass have said they use the minimum force necessary and a high level of restraint as protests become increasingly violent.


Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.

fundraising fundraise banner

The post HK$10m crowdfunding campaign aims to help victims sue Hong Kong police over alleged mistreatment appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
China rebukes Washington after Hong Kong activists make Congress plea https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/19/china-rebukes-washington-hong-kong-activists-make-congress-plea/ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 10:38:14 +0000 https://www.hongkongfp.com/?p=224962 Beijing Thursday accused Washington of “adding fuel to the fire” of Hong Kong unrest after leaders of the city’s pro-democracy movement appealed directly to US lawmakers to exert pressure on China. Activists from the semi-autonomous city testified before a congressional commission in support of US legislation aimed at defending civil rights in Hong Kong, which has been convulsed […]

The post China rebukes Washington after Hong Kong activists make Congress plea appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: AFP.

]]>
Beijing Thursday accused Washington of “adding fuel to the fire” of Hong Kong unrest after leaders of the city’s pro-democracy movement appealed directly to US lawmakers to exert pressure on China.

Activists from the semi-autonomous city testified before a congressional commission in support of US legislation aimed at defending civil rights in Hong Kong, which has been convulsed by weeks of huge, sometimes violent rallies.

Joshua Wong

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong in the US this week. Photo: Joshua Wong, via Facebook.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press briefing Thursday that the US should “stop supporting violent radical forces and Hong Kong independence separatists, and stop adding fuel to the fire to the words and deeds that damage the prosperity and stability of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”

Geng called for the US to “stop interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs in any form.”

Millions have taken to the streets of Hong Kong in months of protests, which were initially against a now-dropped bid by its leaders to allow extraditions to the mainland, but broadened into a wider push for democracy.

The hearing on Tuesday examined legislation that would end Hong Kong’s special trading status with the US unless the State Department each year certifies that the city’s authorities are respecting human rights and rule of law.

china extradition human china tsim sha tsui august 23 (1)

Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Beijing has repeatedly accused “foreign forces” of being behind the pro-democracy protests.

A related bill under consideration would ban the sale of tear gas, rubber bullets and other crowd control equipment to the Hong Kong police after concerns that Western imports abetted their crackdown.

“As I speak, Hong Kong is standing at a critical juncture. The stakes have never been higher,” said 22-year-old Joshua Wong, one of the most prominent figures in the largely leaderless movement.

“This is a plea for universal human rights. This is a plea for democracy. This is a plea for the freedom to choose,” Cantopop star Denise Ho told the congressional commission.

China summoned Germany’s ambassador last week after Wong visited the European power and met with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas — a meeting Beijing branded “disrespectful”.


Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.

 

fundraising fundraise banner

The post China rebukes Washington after Hong Kong activists make Congress plea appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: AFP.

]]>
Hong Kong pro-democracy district councillors slam meeting with Chief Exec. Carrie Lam as ‘political show’ https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/19/hong-kong-pro-democracy-district-councillors-slam-meeting-chief-exec-carrie-lam-political-show/ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 04:38:42 +0000 https://www.hongkongfp.com/?p=224918 A group of pro-democracy district councillors have criticised Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s effort to meet them at government headquarters as being a “political show.” Lam and several Hong Kong officials invited local representatives to a two-hour, closed-door discussion about the recent anti-government protests. The meeting on Wednesday night was boycotted by most of the city’s […]

The post Hong Kong pro-democracy district councillors slam meeting with Chief Exec. Carrie Lam as ‘political show’ appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
A group of pro-democracy district councillors have criticised Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s effort to meet them at government headquarters as being a “political show.”

Lam and several Hong Kong officials invited local representatives to a two-hour, closed-door discussion about the recent anti-government protests. The meeting on Wednesday night was boycotted by most of the city’s larger pro-democracy parties. Only around 100 district councillors out of 458 attended – fewer than ten were in the pro-democracy camp.

At the meeting, 38 district councillors were chosen to speak via a lucky draw, with each of them able to speak for three minutes. The meeting did not allow for any recordings to be made, but two pro-democracy district councillors tried to publish Facebook live streams, before staff intervened.

Lai Tsz-yan

Lai Tsz-yan. Photo: inmediahk.net.

Sha Tin District Councillor Lai Tsz-yan was among a group of five pro-democracy councillors who attended in protest.

“It was just an occasion for top officials and the pro-establishment camp to talk to each other,” he said, calling the event a “political show.”

He said the government was not sincere in giving each district councillor three minutes to speak. The government only spoke for around five minutes during the meeting, he said, instead of responding to councillors one by one.

Sunny Chiu, another pro-democracy Sha Tin district councillor who attended, said he told Lam that the government was too late officially withdrawing the extradition bill, which has sparked months of protest. He said it should have been fully withdrawn in June, after more than a million people peacefully marched: “If the bill was withdrawn at that time, other demands would not have arisen,” he said. He added that the government must respond to the remaining four demands.

government district councillor meeting

Photo: Stand News.

Protests, now into their third month, have escalated into greater calls for democracy, and have evolved into demonstrations against alleged police brutality and Chinese interference.

At the meeting, Lam thanked district councillors and said she hoped the recent civil unrest would stop and social order could be rebuilt.

‘Very orderly’

Following the event, some pro-Beijing district councillors said the meeting was a success.

Terry Yip, a Tuen Mun district councillor of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the meeting was rational and calm because most democrats boycotted it.

Yip was not picked to speak, but said after the meeting: “It was very orderly, [councillors] had three minutes… it was a success.”

Bill Tang

Bill Tang. Photo: inmediahk.net.

Bill Tang, an Islands District representative for the Federation of Trade Unions, said councillors with different opinions were able to speak at the meeting.

He said he hoped the government will expand its dialogue platform to other sectors, so officials could face the public more.


Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.

fundraising fundraise banner

The post Hong Kong pro-democracy district councillors slam meeting with Chief Exec. Carrie Lam as ‘political show’ appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
China must give Hong Kong leaders room to compromise, ex-governor Chris Patten says https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/19/china-must-give-hong-kong-leaders-room-compromise-ex-governor-chris-patten-says/ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 03:39:14 +0000 https://www.hongkongfp.com/?p=224919 China must give Hong Kong leaders leeway to reach a compromise with protesters or face continued unrest in the city, former governor Chris Patten said on Tuesday. “In order to have a resolution the Chinese government needs to make it clear that they still believe in the treaty which was signed by Britain,” he told AFP, referring […]

The post China must give Hong Kong leaders room to compromise, ex-governor Chris Patten says appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: AFP.

]]>
China must give Hong Kong leaders leeway to reach a compromise with protesters or face continued unrest in the city, former governor Chris Patten said on Tuesday.

“In order to have a resolution the Chinese government needs to make it clear that they still believe in the treaty which was signed by Britain,” he told AFP, referring to the 1984 agreement that led to Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule in 1997.

Under the deal, Hong Kong was allowed to keep its unique freedoms for 50 years.

Chris Patten

Chris Patten. Photo: Handout.

“(It) is supposed to guarantee Hong Kong’s local autonomy and their rule of law and way of life,” Patten said in an interview on the sidelines of an event at the Japanese embassy in London.

“The Chinese government, the Communist regime in Beijing, has also to give the authorities in Hong Kong enough room to reach a sensible accommodation and compromise with the demonstrators,” he added.

Clashes erupted again in the city at the weekend, ending a relative lull in the intensity of skirmishes between police and pro-democracy protesters.

Riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at hardcore protesters hurling rocks and petrol bombs on Sunday, the latest expression of a popular revolt that has raged for over 100 days.

The protests, the biggest challenge to Beijing’s rule since the 1997 handover, began in opposition to a proposed law that could have led to extraditions to mainland China.

It has since spiralled into a broader pro-democracy movement.

kwun tong china extradition august 24

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Patten, Britain’s last governor of the city, said that violence was “never acceptable”, but added it had “sometimes been provoked by the way the demonstrations have been policed”.

Local gangsters, known as triads, had also “been manipulated in order to beat up demonstrators”, he said.

Patten urged the British government to be “outspoken in stating the importance of China living up to its guarantees, up to its word.

“If you can’t trust communist China in Hong Kong, where will you trust it?” he added.

Patten was at the Japanese embassy announcing the prestigious Praemium Imperiale awards, with political disorder a common theme among the winning artists.

“I fear that social instability is more resonant now than it has been for some time,” he said.

“We can see what’s happening in Hong Kong and we can see even in a society like ours growing divisiveness and I think that’s profoundly worrying.”


Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.

fundraising fundraise banner

The post China must give Hong Kong leaders room to compromise, ex-governor Chris Patten says appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: AFP.

]]>
Hong Kong cancels National Day fireworks on Oct 1 as protests continue https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/18/hong-kong-cancels-national-day-fireworks-oct-1-protests-continue/ Wed, 18 Sep 2019 09:34:05 +0000 https://www.hongkongfp.com/?p=224868 Hong Kong’s government has cancelled an annual October 1 fireworks display to mark National Day citing public safety concerns. “In view of the latest situation and having regard to public safety, the National Day Fireworks Display originally scheduled to take place at Victoria Harbour in the evening of October 1 (Tuesday) will be cancelled,” the […]

The post Hong Kong cancels National Day fireworks on Oct 1 as protests continue appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng & Jennifer Creery.

]]>
Hong Kong’s government has cancelled an annual October 1 fireworks display to mark National Day citing public safety concerns.

“In view of the latest situation and having regard to public safety, the National Day Fireworks Display originally scheduled to take place at Victoria Harbour in the evening of October 1 (Tuesday) will be cancelled,” the Leisure and Cultural Services Department wrote in a statement on Wednesday.

Fireworks over Victoria Harbour

Fireworks over Victoria Harbour. Photo: Wikicommons.

The fireworks display at Victoria Harbour was last cancelled in 2014 because of the large-scale Occupy protests, as well as in 2013 because of the Lamma ferry tragedy the year before.

The upcoming National Day celebrations⁠ which include a flag-raising event⁠ will mark 70 years of the People’s Republic of China. However, a pro-democracy protest is usually held on the same day.

Hong Kong has been convulsed by 15 consecutive weeks of protests, sparked by a soon-to-be-withdrawn extradition bill which would have allowed case-by-case fugitive transfers to China. The unrest has since morphed into sometimes violent displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment, democracy, alleged police brutality, surveillance and other community grievances.

September 15 china extradition

Photo: May James/HKFP.

Over the past few weeks, a number of events in the city have been postponed or axed altogether, with some organisers attributing the decision to unrest in the city. The events included the WTA Hong Kong Open women’s tennis tournament, US-based comedian Trevor Noah’s show and performances of the award-winning musical Matilda.

The cancellations came as the city’s bruised economy took a tumble with on-year tourist arrivals plunging by 40 per cent in the past month, mainly owing to fewer mainland Chinese visitors, according to financial chief Paul Chan.


Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.

fundraising fundraise banner

The post Hong Kong cancels National Day fireworks on Oct 1 as protests continue appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng & Jennifer Creery.

]]>
Hong Kong Jockey Club cancels race night as horse belonging to pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho becomes protest target https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/18/hong-kong-jockey-club-cancels-race-night-horse-belonging-pro-beijing-lawmaker-junius-ho-becomes-protest-target/ Wed, 18 Sep 2019 08:01:07 +0000 https://www.hongkongfp.com/?p=224848 The Hong Kong Jockey Club has announced that Wednesday’s Happy Valley race will be cancelled owing to an imminent safety threat to racegoers, jockeys and employees, and to the welfare of racehorses. It came after calls for protests at the racecourse, as Hong Kong Bet – a horse owned by pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho – […]

The post Hong Kong Jockey Club cancels race night as horse belonging to pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho becomes protest target appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
The Hong Kong Jockey Club has announced that Wednesday’s Happy Valley race will be cancelled owing to an imminent safety threat to racegoers, jockeys and employees, and to the welfare of racehorses.

It came after calls for protests at the racecourse, as Hong Kong Bet – a horse owned by pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho – was scheduled to race on Wednesday night.

Ho attracted controversy after he shook hands with a group of people allegedly involved in the mob attacks in Yuen Long on July 21. His district officers have attracted different levels of protest over the past two months, including arson and vandalism.

Happy Valley racecourse

Happy Valley racecourse. File Photo: Jockey Club.

Before the cancellation, Hong Kong Bet’s class 2 race was moved to the first race of the night – a rare arrangement. But, by Wednesday afternoon, the Jockey Club later decided to cancel all races.

The club said it always put safety as a top priority in organising race meetings: “Our concerns are tied to potential social unrest in the vicinity tonight, the very real threat of a disturbance or possible violence at Happy Valley Racecourse, and uncertainty regarding transportation in and around Happy Valley and Causeway Bay for racegoers, jockeys and employees and horses entering or leaving the racecourse throughout the evening,” a Club spokesperson said.

Junius Ho Hong Kong Bet

Junius Ho and Hong Kong Bet. Photo: Junius Ho.

“This is a very difficult and most unfortunate decision to make, but public safety is of paramount importance to the Club. We hope the racing community and the Hong Kong public will understand our reasons for doing so,” the spokesperson added.

The Jockey Club said it will provide further information on wagering refunds and racecourse bookings in due course.

Junius Ho told Now TV he was disappointed by the cancellation decision.

“Should we stop doing what we normally do [because of protests]? It should not be like that… we should not bow to such bullying forces,” he said.


Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.

fundraising fundraise banner

The post Hong Kong Jockey Club cancels race night as horse belonging to pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho becomes protest target appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
Hong Kong Journalists Association condemns website for doxxing reporters, urges police action https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/18/hong-kong-journalists-association-condemns-website-doxxing-reporters-urges-police-action/ Wed, 18 Sep 2019 07:00:39 +0000 https://www.hongkongfp.com/?p=224827 The Hong Kong Journalists Association has condemned a website for “doxxing” reporters, urging the police to probe the intrusion into journalists’ privacy. A recently-launched Chinese-language website has been posting apparent personal information of reporters from the pro-democracy Apple Daily, including their photos, dates of birth, detailed information on their positions, social media accounts, residential address and […]

The post Hong Kong Journalists Association condemns website for doxxing reporters, urges police action appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
The Hong Kong Journalists Association has condemned a website for “doxxing” reporters, urging the police to probe the intrusion into journalists’ privacy.

A recently-launched Chinese-language website has been posting apparent personal information of reporters from the pro-democracy Apple Daily, including their photos, dates of birth, detailed information on their positions, social media accounts, residential address and other contact information.

“Those acts have not only caused nuisance, but also caused concern among the doxxed persons about their personal safety,” the HKJA said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

july 14 press freedom china police extradition

A journalists’ rally. File Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

“The Association strongly condemns such acts and calls on netizens to stop uploading or resending others’ personal data. The Association stresses that acts of doxxing on [the] website may have violated the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.”

The HKJA urged the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data to follow up the matter under the power provided by the Ordinance. They urged the office to demand that the website remove the relevant information and refer the case to the police for investigation.

The website also contained personal information relating to protesters and prominent pro-democracy figures such as lawmakers.

The site was registered under a Russian “.ru” domain name on September 9 by a private person, though no name could be found. An email address used to receive tips has been registered at yandex.com, a popular Russian website.

stephen wong kai yi

Commissioner Stephen Wong Kai-yi. Photo: Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data.

Privacy Commissioner Stephen Wong said in a statement that his office was gravely concerned about the harm caused by doxxing and cyberbullying.

He said his office has already requested that the website remove, and stop uploading, all posts involving cyberbullying or illegal acts, and said it has also liaised with the privacy enforcement authority in the relevant jurisdiction for its assistance.

Under section 64(2) of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, a person commits an offence if they disclose, irrespective of intent, any personal data of a data subject obtained from a data user without the data user’s consent and the disclosure causes psychological harm to the data subject. Those found in violation face a maximum fine of HK$1 million and imprisonment for five years.

The office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data referred 865 cases to the police for investigation between June 14 to September 16 noon.


Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.

fundraising fundraise banner

The post Hong Kong Journalists Association condemns website for doxxing reporters, urges police action appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
Hong Kong’s summer of protests leaves economy bruised and battered https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/18/hong-kongs-summer-protests-leaves-economy-bruised-battered/ Wed, 18 Sep 2019 03:30:08 +0000 https://www.hongkongfp.com/?p=224835 by Yan Zhao & Sean Gleeson As pro-democracy protests grind on for a fourth month, Hong Kong has been left counting the cost, with the city’s tourist industry battered and businesses forced to lay off staff as they struggle to stay afloat. Images beamed around the world of black-clad demonstrators battling police in full riot […]

The post Hong Kong’s summer of protests leaves economy bruised and battered appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: AFP.

]]>
by Yan Zhao & Sean Gleeson

As pro-democracy protests grind on for a fourth month, Hong Kong has been left counting the cost, with the city’s tourist industry battered and businesses forced to lay off staff as they struggle to stay afloat.

Images beamed around the world of black-clad demonstrators battling police in full riot gear on streets usually lined with shoppers have led travellers to shun the financial hub.

And with protesters and the government showing no signs of backing down, there are worries things will not improve any time soon.

September 15 china extradition

Photo: May James/HKFP.

August witnessed the biggest fall in overseas visitors since the SARS epidemic of 2003 claimed nearly 300 lives and unleashed widespread panic in the city, according to government data.

Among the worst-hit areas is Causeway Bay, a normally bustling commercial precinct home to a slate of luxury brands where last weekend shoppers and bystanders were caught up as police fired volleys of tear gas at masked youths.

A neighbourhood pharmacist, who asked to be identified only by his surname Chiu, told AFP the overseas customers who accounted for half his sales had slowed to a trickle since the protests began in June.

“The social atmosphere is not good,” he said, adding that he has repeatedly had to shut his shop as tear gas canisters bounce down the street. Takings, he says, have tumbled 40-50 percent.

“Local customers also seem to buy less.”

causeway bay

Photo: Jennifer Creery/HKFP.

He said his business was faring worse than during 2014’s Umbrella Movement, which saw the city grind to a standstill after a months-long blockade of busy roads.

Across Hong Kong, on-year tourist arrivals fell 40 percent in the last month, the city’s financial secretary Paul Chan said, led by a collapse in visitors from the mainland — by far the largest group.

Hotel occupancy rates are down around half and the retail and dining sectors have been severely impacted.

“It is worrying that so far there is no sign of improvement in the near future,” Chan wrote in a blog post.

 ‘I don’t know if we can survive’ –

Adding to the problems for Hong Kong, the long-running crisis has coincided with weak global demand and the grinding China-US trade war.

Earlier this month Fitch downgraded the city’s sovereign rating citing the protests.

graffiti hong kong protest china extradition free

File photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Seasonally adjusted, the economy contracted by 0.4 percent in the second quarter — most of which came before the pro-democracy rallies began — while Chan also reported a 5.7-percent yearly fall in overall exports in the first half.

No one is looking forward to third-quarter statistics.

Crucially, the number of visitors from mainland China has tumbled after several full-throated condemnations of demonstrators by Beijing, which has likened the unrest to “terrorism”.

The number of mainland tour groups to the city plunged 90 percent on-year in the first 10 days of September, Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong spokeswoman Jessica Wan told AFP.

Hong Kong’s flagship airline Cathay Pacific also reported an 11-percent yearly drop in passengers for August, when two occupations of the airport saw the blockade of departure gates and the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

The airport saw a 12.4-percent monthly drop in passengers — some 850,000 fewer travellers.

september 1 airport china extradition

Photo: Jennifer Creery/HKFP.

Several other businesses told AFP their bottom lines had suffered through the long summer of discontent, sparked by a controversial extradition bill many fear would strengthen Beijing’s control over the city and further erode its cherished freedoms.

Since June, when more than a million people marched through the city to protest the measure, the manager of a watch store said he had been forced to lay off half of its workforce.

“You can see if you walk down the streets, several watch shops have been closed already,” said the store’s manager, surnamed Wong. “I’m pessimistic. I don’t know if we can survive through the new year.”

The protests tend to break out over the weekends — the two days his shop is usually at its busiest.

On the other side of the harbour in Mongkok, businesses said they were regularly shutting their doors early to avoid melees outside.

august 5 china extradition strike mong kok (1) (Copy)

Photo: May James/HKFP.

The area around the neon-soaked retail precinct has seen escalating violence, with demonstrators barricading main roads and vandalising the local subway station — and officers responding with baton charges.

At one late-night outdoor market stall, a vendor selling imitation designer handbags said her takings were down five-fold from average sales at the start of the year.

With no end in sight, Chiu, the pharmacist, seemed to be torn between his sympathies for the protesters and protecting his livelihood.

“I don’t support them damaging facilities, but I feel awful seeing them being beaten by police,” he told AFP.

He said he and his staff had left supplies of water outside his shop for protesters during street rallies, knowing other stores had closed.

“I support the youngsters,” he said. “But I also have a business to run.”


Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.

fundraising fundraise banner

The post Hong Kong’s summer of protests leaves economy bruised and battered appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: AFP.

]]>
Fire dept. says recording of Aug 31 MTR incident was within normal practice, condemns logbook leak https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/09/18/fire-dept-says-recording-aug-31-mtr-incident-within-normal-practice-condemns-logbook-leak/ Wed, 18 Sep 2019 02:20:05 +0000 https://www.hongkongfp.com/?p=224813 The Fire Services Department (FSD) has said that it is usual practice to amend incident logs after a lawmaker raised questions over an incident on August 31. On Tuesday, Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung presented a logbook relating to an incident where baton-wielding police stormed Prince Edward MTR station, deploying pepper spray and making arrests. He […]

The post Fire dept. says recording of Aug 31 MTR incident was within normal practice, condemns logbook leak appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>
The Fire Services Department (FSD) has said that it is usual practice to amend incident logs after a lawmaker raised questions over an incident on August 31.

On Tuesday, Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung presented a logbook relating to an incident where baton-wielding police stormed Prince Edward MTR station, deploying pepper spray and making arrests. He questioned why some records were amended as late as ten days later, alongside three anonymous FSD staffers who claimed such late amendments were rare.

Fire Services Department record

One of the records that was modified on September 10. Photo: RTHK Screenshot.

The initial number of injuries counted by FSD staff was ten, though it was soon changed to seven on the night of the incident. Some records relating to the number of injuries were amended on September 3. Meanwhile, other records relating to police moving the injured people to Lai Chi Kok MTR station on August 31 were amended over a week later, on September 10.

The FSD said in response that – normally – the Fire Services Communications Centre confirms information with managers on the scene and revisits records in order to make supplementary notes correct the incident log.

“This is the usual practice, especially for large-scale incidents,” it said. “It is not rare, as some people – who do not understand the full picture – claimed.”

Alvin Yeung Fire Services Department staff member

Alvin Yeung and three anonymous Fire Services Department staff members. Photo: RTHK Screenshot.

The FSD said it revisited 700 recordings and confirmed details with on-scene managers over the days that followed.

It said that people who claimed to be FSD staff members interpreted the incident log when they were unfamiliar with the operations and background of the incident.

“This was irresponsible behaviour, and they can easily confuse or wrongly interpret some information, causing more unnecessary speculation or misunderstandings,” it said.

The FSD said it was extremely disappointed by the leak and the behaviour of the relevant people, expressing “strong criticism.”


Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.

fundraising fundraise banner

The post Fire dept. says recording of Aug 31 MTR incident was within normal practice, condemns logbook leak appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Author: Kris Cheng.

]]>