Human rights groups are criticizing Hong Kong police for beating an unarmed protester. Several police officers were caught on camera kicking and hitting the protester. The man was unable to defend himself because he wore handcuffs. He was later identified as a social worker.
The incident happened Wednesday when police attempted to clear protesters from an area near Hong Kong’s government headquarters. The demonstrators were blocking an underpass on a major road.
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A local television station, TVB, recorded a video of the incident. It shows six officers pulling protester Ken Tsang Kin Chiu into the darkened entrance of a building. The officers repeatedly kicked and hit him for four minutes.
The territory’s security chief, Lai Tung-kwok, met later with reporters. He said the officers involved in the incident have been given other duties, and that an investigation has begun.
The rights group Amnesty International says the officers must also face legal action. Amnesty condemned them for what it called the “vicious attack against a detained man, who posed no threat to police.”
Mabel Au is the director of the group’s Hong Kong office.
“Amnesty strongly condemns the police beating up the peaceful protesters. From the TV clips that we can see that Ken was just, he was taken away by the police, and at that time he was already handcuffed with the plastic strips.
The Asian Human Rights Commission also expressed “shock and sadness” at the incident. It called for the officers to be arrested and “brought before the law as early as possible.”
The commission has set up a telephone line for protesters who witness police violence during the government’s efforts to suppress the pro-democracy protests.
On Wednesday, hundreds of police used pepper spray and sticks against protesters during clashes in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong. A police statement said 45 people were arrested. It added that four officers received injuries.
The demonstrations began in late September. The protesters want the Chinese government to let Hong Kong voters elect their own leader without restriction on candidates. They also have been calling on the leader of Hong Kong to resign. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said he will not step down.
I’m Anne Ball.
This report was based on a story from VOA reporter William Gallo. George Grow wrote it for Learning English. The editor was Jeri Watson.
Words in this Story
defend – v. to guard or fight against attack; to protect
incident – n. an event or something that happens
video – n. a method of recording images and sound without a traditional film camera to be shown on a television, computer or other device
legal – adj. of or in agreement with the law
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