Date
29 March 2017
Protesters, some of whom are mentally handicapped, demand the release of the results of a police probe into the arrest and charging of an autistic man. Photo: SocRec
Protesters, some of whom are mentally handicapped, demand the release of the results of a police probe into the arrest and charging of an autistic man. Photo: SocRec

Disclosure of results of probe into arrest of autistic man urged

About 200 people from 30 organizations dedicated to the less privileged and mentally disabled protested outside police headquarters in Wanchai, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.

They demanded that police make public within three months the results of the force’s internal investigation into the arrest of an autistic man in a murder probe.

Newly appointed police chief Stephen Lo said during a visit to Beijing that the police have nothing new to add to their previous statement.

Lo said a full review will be conducted but did not offer an apology.

The protesters walked from Southorn Playground in Wanchai to police headquarters on Arsenal Street at around noon Sunday.

Many mentally handicapped or autistic people took part with their parents despite the heavy rain.

A woman surnamed Wong, who joined in the protest with her 35-year-old autistic son, said she was utterly disappointed with how police handled the case, in which an autistic man was detained and charged even though police were aware he had an alibi.

Protester Chan Chun-kit, who is autistic and a member of Chosen Power (People First Hong Kong), said mentally handicapped people have the ability to communicate, but the police need to look after their special needs, such as providing textual and visual cues.

Chan said the public still lack an understanding of handicapped people.

Legislator Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, vice chairman of the Labour Party, said it was a pity Lo failed to make a personal apology.

Fellow lawmaker James To Kun-sun, of the Democratic Party, said police clearly made a mistake in arresting a person without verifying his alibi.

To also asked if the police would be investigating whether officers had guided or misled the mentally handicapped person in taking a statement from him.

Secretary for Labor and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said his department will work with the police in their review to avoid similar incidents from happening in future.

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