Fifty former juvenile delinquents have come forward with allegations that they had been abused during their imprisonment, hk01.com reports.
The Correctional Services Department (CSD) said in a letter to the news website that some of the events described by the teenagers were of criminal nature and thus the cases have been referred to the police for further investigation.
The penal institutions alleged to have been involved are Pik Uk Prison, Sha Tsui Detention Center, and Cape Collinson Correctional Institution Terminus, Apple Daily reported.
Legislators Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung and Bottle Shiu Ka-chun have gathered information about the CSD staff linked to the cases and offered help to those affected.
Shiu said some of the inmates, as young as 14, had been subjected to violence by CSD officers and were even ordered to eat their own feces, based on their complaints.
Cheung stressed that Hong Kong is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it is evident that these teenagers had been abused during their stay in the facilities.
Previous reports by the Justices of the Peace following their visits to the facilities all ruled that alleged abuse cases were not established by evidence.
Cheung and Shiu plan to write to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor about the issue.
Current Justice of the Peace Emily Lau Wai-hing and former legislator Cyd Ho Sau-lan will ask that a special investigative team be established and that the CSD be prevented from covering up any secrets.
According to statistics from the CSD, all 10 complaints of abuses in correctional facilities between 2013 and late June of this year, had been dropped or proven false by their own investigative teams.
Shiu lamented that the current system does not allow anyone to interfere and even look into the correctional services system.
The CSD insisted that great emphasis is placed on the staff’s discipline and code of conduct and anyone found to have violated those rules faces heavy punishment.
It said it is encouraging people who have seen or have been the subject of such abuses to come forward and file their complaints to the newly formed investigative team.
Barrister Leung Wing Hang said the cases could be difficult to establish because of the lack of evidence and that the victims might not be able to recall the details.
However, he said the cases may progress if the victims can describe clearly what had happened.
Medical reports during the complainants’ stay in the facilities may also serve as evidence, Leung added.
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