Listen up protesters.
It wouldn’t hurt to remember this line: Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
That’s the standard police advice to people under arrest.
With the prospect of mass detentions looming as the street protests roll into their fourth week, the League of Social Democrats (LSD) and student group Scholarism, which is spearheading the sit-ins, are leaving nothing to chance.
They have released a video showing how a seemingly benign police interrogation might turn into a nightmare.
Bottomline: Don’t let your guard down or say more than you should.
We will leave the video clip for last but here’s a spoiler — thanks to Scholarism’s Agnes Chow and LSD’s Leung Kwok-hung who play cop and protester, respectively.
In the video, the cop reminds the protester that “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law”.
The protester begins to feel comfortable and chats up the officer.
“So many citizens are supporting us,” he says.
“You see, all the cutters, hammers and bamboos [used to build tents] were given by citizens.
“My friends and I helped the protest organizers [promote our slogans].
“We are really peaceful… we sang Happy Birthday out loud to drive anti-occupy people away.”
And there you have it. The protester has just incriminated himself, and the next thing he knows, he is being served a charge sheet.
The charges: possession of offensive weapon (cutters and hammers), illegal assembly (“my friends and I helped the protest organizers”) and disorderly conduct in a public place (“we sang Happy Birthday out loud”).
All of which, hopefully, could have been avoided had the protester seen these tips beforehand:
1. Avoid chatting up the police. Jokes are taken seriously.
2. Insist on a lawyer before the interrogation begins.
3. Check any documents before you sign them. It is highly recommended that you consult a lawyer first.
4. Protect yourself by replying “I have nothing to say” to all questions.
5. Remember to get a copy of the documents you signed.
6. Watch the video (Cantonese only):
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