Date
16 October 2018
Activist Joshua Wong saw his demand for compensation dismissed and was ordered to pay HK$8,026 in legal fees. Photo: Reuters
Activist Joshua Wong saw his demand for compensation dismissed and was ordered to pay HK$8,026 in legal fees. Photo: Reuters

Joshua Wong vows to appeal after losing police abuse case

Youth activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung said he will appeal to the High Court after his claim that police had unlawfully assaulted and detained him was dismissed, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The Small Claims Tribunal on Wednesday decided that Wong’s demand for HK$45,000 in compensation from Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung for alleged unlawful detention and abuse of power was unfounded.

The tribunal agreed there was a need for the police officers involved in the case to use reasonable force at the time of the incident, accepting that Wong was cuffed to prevent him from doing things that could have endangered his own and other people’s safety.

It ordered Wong to pay HK$8,026 in legal fees.

The incident took place on July 1 last year, when he joined other activists in a protest march to the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, where the government was set to hold a flag-raising ceremony and President Xi Jinping would deliver a speech.

According to Wong, six uniformed police officers suddenly approached him and tried to “drag and pull” him into a police car as he was about to reach the venue.

Wong accused the police of cuffing him without any prior warning that he was being placed under arrest. He said police officers could only use handcuffs after making an official arrest.

The Department of Justice claimed that Wong failed to prove that the police had violated his personal freedom or damaged his reputation.

Wong, 21, told media outside the court that the tribunal’s ruling was inconceivable, insisting that restraining one’s freedom with handcuffs is a serious use of force.

Vowing to appeal to the High Court, Wong, who is the secretary-general of the youth political party Demosistō, wrote on his Facebook page later that he could not accept that the adjudicator considered his protest as damage to social peace, nor could he agree to pay the legal fees to cover the daily stipends of the police officers who testified in the case.

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TL/JC/CG

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