Date
22 January 2017
Derek Lam, who was arrested Wednesday, is seen in media footage taken in Mong Kok late Monday raising his hands (insets) to try to calm down police and protesters involved in heated arguments. Photos: RTHK, Apple Daily
Derek Lam, who was arrested Wednesday, is seen in media footage taken in Mong Kok late Monday raising his hands (insets) to try to calm down police and protesters involved in heated arguments. Photos: RTHK, Apple Daily

University students among 64 arrested in Mong Kok clashes

Hong Kong police said they had arrested 64 people suspected of taking part in the street clashes Monday night in Mong Kok, in which more than 100 people, including police officers, were injured.

More arrests could be made, police said Wednesday.

Violent clashes between police and protesters, which the government condemned as rioting, broke out after Food and Environmental Hygiene Department officers tried to clear street hawkers from Portland Street.

In the name of protecting street hawkers’ rights to do business, hundreds of protesters swarmed police, set fire to debris, street signs and trashcans in a 10-hour brawl, during which police fired warning shots into the sky.

Those arrested, aged between 14 and 70, were charged with a range of offenses, including illegal assembly, possession of weapons, attacking police officers, obstructing police officers from doing their duty and taking part in a riot, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday, citing police.

Thirty-five men and three women are scheduled for hearings Thursday at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts.

Sixteen others were granted bail, while the rest are still being detained.

RTHK cited a statement issued Wednesday by student pro-democracy activist group Scholarism saying one of its members, Derek Lam Shun-hin, 22, was arrested at 9:50 a.m. the same day at Hong Kong International Airport when he was about to travel to Taipei on a seven-day trip with his family.

Police took Lam, a student at the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, to his home in Sai Ying Pun for investigation.

Scholarism convener Joshua Wong Chi-fung said the arrest of Lam was an assault on the people’s right to assembly and freedom of expression.

He said police had violated Lam’s rights by going into his home without court documents to collect evidence. When Lam’s lawyer arrived, the police officers called off the search.

Wong said Lam arrived at the night market in Mong Kok at around 10 p.m. Monday and left the next morning at around 2 a.m. with him, and he had never thrown objects, set fires or engaged in physical contact with police while he was there.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong University Students’ Union said in a statement Wednesday the police forced three arrested HKU students to undergo a strip search.

The union accused police of violating the rules for the questioning of suspects and the taking of statements.

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TL/AC/FL

Fires blaze in Mong Kok during violent clashes between protesters and police early Tuesday. Photo: Reuters


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