Hong Kong Medical Professionals Rally to Condemn Police Brutality

By Olivia Li, Epoch Times
August 15, 2019 Updated: August 15, 2019

Hundreds of hospital workers from Ruttonjee and Tang Shiu Kin hospitals in Hong Kong staged another sit-in outside Ruttonjee Hospital on Aug. 14 in support of the anti-extradition protesters and condemning the brutality of the police when dealing with them. It was the third consecutive day of rallies by medical professionals.

Doctors urged police officers to stop using unnecessary and harmful crowd control weapons like rubber bullets and sponge grenades. They criticized police for assaulting medical workers at the demonstration sites and obstructing them from attending to injured protesters.

During the rally, doctors and nurses sat in silence, holding placards that read “Medical workers are saving lives, why prevent us from doing our duty?” “Stop shooting at people’s eyes!” “Respect lives, say no to police violence.”

There was also a placard criticizing the police for “close-range shooting and shooting indiscriminately.”

Some patients from the two hospitals joined the sit-in as well. 

Doctor Wilson Cheng read the rally statement which shared detailed accounts of Hong Kong police suppressing peaceful demonstrators with excessive use of force, colluding with mafia groups to attack protesters, and completely ignoring people’s safety.

“As a result of such lawless acts of the police, the Hong Kong people have completely lost their trust in the police, and Hong Kong society has been torn apart,” the statement read, “However, the Hong Kong government has not learned any lessons from these mistakes; instead, Hong Kong leaders shift the responsibility to ordinary citizens and the young protesters.”

Cheng concluded his speech with three demands from the medical workers.

“We strongly condemn the excessive force used by Hong Kong police, and urge law enforcement officers to control their emotions, to stop shooting citizens, firing at crowds within close range, and firing tear gas in enclosed areas.”

Cheng also condemned the police for intentionally obstructing medical workers who were helping injured protesters, and even assaulting medical workers trying to rescue the victims. He pointed out that these actions violated “the humanitarian law of the Geneva Convention.”

“Thirdly, we strongly protest the unlawful acts of the police who come to the hospital to find and arrest our patients, which infringes on the privacy of these patients. As a result, many Hong Kong citizens who need medical treatment do not dare to come to the hospital for treatment,” Cheng said.

He reiterated that the Hong Kong government must respond to the five major demands of the Hong Kong people: to fully withdraw the extradition bill, launch an independent investigation into the use of force by police, retract the classification of the protests as “riots,” drop the charges against all those arrested during the protests, and enact universal suffrage for city elections.

During the rally, Dr. Hui from Ruttonjee Hospital revealed that police often intentionally make trouble for medical aid workers. He himself witnessed several such incidents.

On one occasion, when a batch of first-aid kits arrived at a demonstration site medical aid station, riot police nearby came to inspect the kits. Upon seeing they contained helmets, they claimed that helmets are dangerous items and confiscated all the medical and safety materials at the station. Medical workers at this station had to rely on materials supplied by local stores to continue their work.

Pierre Chan, a Hong Kong medical doctor and legislator, was among the rally attendees. He said that having witnessed what has happened in Hong Kong in the past two months, he felt helpless and hopeless, even though he is one of Hong Kong’s legislators.

“When I am off work, I offer humanitarian help at the front line all the time, hoping to do more to help those injured protesters,” Chan said. “It is at the front line that I experience the terror first hand. I believe I have encountered more than 30 deployments of tear gas. The Special Tactical Squad (Hong Kong’s special police force) is only a few steps away. They don’t just stand there, they wave their batons, chasing and beating us.”

Towards the end of the rally, medical professionals pledged that in this turbulent moment, they would stay loyal to their duties and their patients to protect the safety of Hong Kong people.

Epoch Times reporter Ye Yifan contributed to this report.

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