27 June 2019
The Lennon Wall was covered with colourful messages of support during the Occupy movement. Photo: Reuters
The Lennon Wall was covered with colourful messages of support during the Occupy movement. Photo: Reuters

Graffiti girl sent to children’s home

A 14-year-girl arrested before Christmas for making graffiti on a wall at a former Occupy protest site has been sent to a children’s home, RTHK reported.

Police detained the girl for drawing a flower in chalk on the “Lennon Wall” at a staircase leading to a footbridge over Harcourt Road in Admiralty.

During the Occupy protests, the wall had been covered with sticky notes bearing messages of support for pro-democracy demonstrators.

Notes and messages have sporadically been posted on the wall since police cleared the site, AFP reported.

The girl was arrested early December 23 and was detained for 17 hours, her solicitor, Patricia Ho, said.

The teen was sent to a children’s home Monday for three weeks while a court considers a police application for a care and protection order under which she could be removed from her father’s care, Ho said.

RTHK quoted the lawyer as saying this was an unusual step and a worrying development for civil disobedience movements in Hong Kong.

Ho described the move as “disproportionate” and “shocking”.

“These types of orders are usually sought in extreme cases; for example, the child is on drugs, or trading drugs or prostituting themselves,” the lawyer told AFP.

“It’s a very worrying trend … it’s imposing a climate of fear.”

The girl has been in trouble with police before, Ho said, but there was no evidence she was not well cared for at home.

The police application alleges she is being neglected by her family.

But neither the girl nor her father want her to be removed, Ho said.

She quoted the girl as saying in a statement to the court that “she was very upset and said she was afraid of going into the home”.

The girl’s father, who is severely hearing impaired, also made an emotional statement, pledging to keep an eye on her at all times.

In a separate case, a 14-year-old boy could also be removed from his parents.

The boy was arrested while police cleared the protest site in Mong Kok in late November.

Police have applied for a care and protection order for him. 

Neither teen has been charged.

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