26 October 2016
Tang (inset) shows his media badge while police beat him up (left). He had to have a wound he suffered on the back of his neck during the beating stitched up. Photos: Apple Daily, Ming Pao,
Tang (inset) shows his media badge while police beat him up (left). He had to have a wound he suffered on the back of his neck during the beating stitched up. Photos: Apple Daily, Ming Pao,

Ming Pao reporter files complaint of police violence

Video taken Monday night shows a Ming Pao Daily reporter who was covering the clashes in Mong Kok being pressed to the ground and beaten by at least 10 police officers, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

The reporter, surnamed Tang is seen being hit with police batons and kicked in the back over a period of 15 seconds.

He suffered injuries to his head, hands and back.

“I did nothing provocative,” said Tang.

“I did not even take pictures or video clips of the police officers there.

He said he was baffled as to why he was treated with such violence when he clearly identified himself as a reporter.

Ming Pao said it was shocked by the incident and found it highly regrettable.

The newspaper condemned the violent behavior of the police officers and called for a thorough investigation.

Tang filed a complaint Wednesday at Mong Kok Police Station.

A police representative said the case will be handled by the Complaints Against Police Office.

Tang said he suspected that those police officers who knew he was a reporter failed to help or protect him.

“Even if I was mistaken as one of the protesters, the police officers need not have behaved violently toward me, as I had not provoked them,” he said.

Tang was off duty Monday but was asked by his employer to cover the events in Mong Kok.

He boarded a double-decker bus parked on a street in an attempt to get a better angle for taking pictures.

Police ordered him to get off the bus and pushed him to the ground before he could even step out of the vehicle.

Although Tang was wearing his reporter’s badge all along and repeatedly identified himself as a reporter while he was being shoved by the police officers, they still beat and kicked him, he said.

Tang went to Kwong Wah Hospital, where the wound on the back of his head had to be stitched up.

He said a representative of the Police Public Relations Bureau approached him while he was waiting for treatment at the hospital and said the force would follow up the incident.

Independent Police Complaints Council member Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong said it could be difficult to process the complaint if Tang could not identify who he was complaining against.

Hong Kong Journalists Association chairwoman Sham Yee-lan asked how a reporter could possibly observe and memorize the staff numbers of the police officers who were beating him.

She said, however, that the police officers involved should be identifiable in news video footage.

Meanwhile, some netizens asked why Tang was not wearing the fluorescent vest and mask usually worn by reporters during protests.

The Ming Pao Staff Association said in a statement Wednesday night that several reporters were asked to cancel their day off and rush to the scene, so they could not get that gear from the office in time.

Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said more than 130 people were hospitalized as a result of the Mong Kok clashes, 90 of whom were police officers and five were members of the media.

The Hospital Authority said six of those people, half of whom were police officers, remained in hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

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