Hong Kong Police Arrest High School Student They Shot in the Chest in 2019

Hong Kong Police Arrest High School Student They Shot in the Chest in 2019
Steve Li Kuai-wah, Hong Kong police national security senior superintendent, spoke to the press regarding the arrests on July 14, 2022. (screenshot of Hong Kong Police Force FB)

Four protesters in the anti-extradition movement, including Tsang Chi-kit, a former high school student shot in the chest by the police, were arrested on July 13 in Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung. The court had wanted them for failing to appear on the appointed date. They were reportedly arrested when they were about to flee to Taiwan.

To the media’s surprise, these four men were handled differently by the police as they were escorted to court the day after their arrest. Current affairs commentators believe that this show by the police was intended to intimidate and divide the resistance and opposition.

In addition, this case has also been linked to the Democratic Party by the two major pro-CCP (Chinese Communist Party) newspapers in Hong Kong. Coincidentally, the Democratic Party has been bombarded by the two newspapers for days.

On July 14, the four men were transported by the police to court. To the reporters’ surprise, unlike in the past, they could take photos of the accused from a close distance.  The video and photos released showed that the three accused were shackled with chains around their waist, had long hair, and were escorted by the police.

According to a report by Ming Pao, the arrangement on the day differed from before. Instead of being driven into the detention room of the court as in the past, the accused were dropped off in front of the detention room. They then walked into the court. The other defendant of the case was sent to Eastern Magistrates’ Courts for trial.

In the past, reporters could only take photos of the remanded person entering and leaving the court by putting their cameras as close as they could to the tinted glasses of the prison van.” They have never been able to rub elbows with the remanded persons.

Further, the police National Security Department Senior Superintendent Steve Li Kwai-wah spoke to the press before the trial. He said that an organization had been involved in persuading the four men to escape and arranging a “hideout” for them. He said the organization had made a video about the men’s lives to raise funds, which Li called “ill-intentioned” and “eating human blood steamed buns.”

Criticism from Scholars

Chung Kim-wah, former assistant professor in applied social science at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said that it was the police who were “eating human blood steamed buns” and that the show was to mislead the public to believe that someone was making money out of this online, in an attempt to divide the opposition.

Current affairs commentator Sang Pu pointed out that the police’s briefing was one-sided. Li described how the four men had been hiding, including being hidden in cardboard boxes, and how they had paid HK$400,000 (US$50,958) to flee Hong Kong. Sang Pu said, by using words such as “ill-intentioned” and “eating human blood steamed bun,” the police were trying to divide the opposition forces.

Sang Pu described the police’s handling of this case as “unexpected,” “unusual,” and “rather evil.” He said it was evident that the police wanted the media to see the accused. It was “orchestrated” and “insulting to the accused.”  On the other hand, the police pretended to be sympathetic to the accused, which is “terrible.”

In the past, the police handled these things in a low-key manner. As a lawyer, Sang Pu pointed out; that one should be assumed innocent before proven guilty. It was against the principles of judicial impartiality to expose the accused to the media without wearing a hood. He added, “the police could be charged with ‘Perverting the Course of Justice.’”

Sang Pu said it is up to the prosecution to provide evidence to prove everything in the trial. “You said the police caught him in Pak Tam Chung; you said these guys were the suspects, but how do I know if you caught him in Pak Tam Chung that day? You show them to the media, and this show has no evidence to prove everything.” He criticized the police for not adhering to the presumption of innocence, “They are already treating every trial as a sham trial and every arrest as a show.”

He believes that the motive of the police to speak to the media about the case was to divide the accused and their handlers. Police wanted the fugitives to be seen as the victims, being misled by their handlers, whereas their handlers are evil, greedy, and low. Sang Pu said this was to divide, smear and threaten. “This is the purpose of the show put on by the CCP.”

The Democratic Party Was ‘Implicated’

Meanwhile, Tai Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po, two pro-CCP newspapers, linked the case with the Democratic Party, which they have been bombarding for days. They accused the organization Friends of Hong Kong, who allegedly assisted the accused are connected to the Democratic Party, as they had invited the leaders of the Party, such as Emily Lau, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Party, Central Committee members Yuen Hoi-man and Leung Yik-ting to be on their live program in 2020.

Professor Chung said, as the two newspapers managed to kill the fundraising event of the Democratic Party, it looked like they wanted to concentrate their firepower and force the Democratic Party to “kneel.”

As to whether the Democratic Party will be the next target to disband, following organizations such as the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, the Alliance, and Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union, Chung said that it depends because Beijing does want to keep some tokens of democracy for show and the best choice is the Democratic Party.  Among the pro-democracy parties, Beijing will not trust the attorneys of the Civic Party or The Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, which is too small for their purpose. However, he believed that the Democratic Party must first admit wrongdoing, kneel, and be reigned in.

Victim of Police Brutality, Tsang Was in Critical Condition

On Oct. 1, 2019, when Tsang was still a high school student, he was shot in the chest by the police; the bullet passed within 3 centimeters of his heart. He was in critical condition.

He tried to take the perpetrator to court for compensation but was denied legal aid. He was told it was “reasonable” for the police officer to open fire on him.

Tsang was later charged with one count of rioting and two counts of assaulting a police officer. He failed to appear in court in December 2021, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. At that time, there were reports that he had gone into exile, but his whereabouts were unknown until he and the three others were arrested in Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung, on July 20.

The four men appeared in the district court recently. The prosecution opposed their bail, and they did not apply either.  They will be detained until September 13 for trial.

Related Topics