Dozens of refugees clash with immigration police

August 16, 2016 14:58
Castle Peak Bay Immigration Center is home to more than 500 refugees seeking asylum on acount of torture in their home countires. Photo: Wikipedia

Dozens of asylum seekers clashed with immigration officers at the Castle Peak Bay Immigration Center (CIC) Sunday night, demanding their release from detention.

The group, mostly South Asians, Africans and Vietnamese wanted recognizance from the authorities to allow them to work on their refugee application, Sing Tao Daily reports.

In the charged atmosphere, objects were hurled, pepper spray was used and immigration authorities had to call in help from its quick reaction force.

Police were on standby.

The protesters agreed to return to the center monday morning -- more than 12 hours later -- after authorities promised to look into their demands.

The men are applying for torture claims assessment which could alow them to stay in Hong Kong if successful.

The CIC houses about 500 inmates who are either awaiting assessment or repatriation to their home countries after their applications have been denied.

On April 15, about 80 refugees refused to return to their rooms and demanded a meeting with assessment officers over the status of their recognizance applications.

Eight immigration officers have been injured in six attacks since CIC opened in April 2010.

TVB News reports that officers used pepper spray on Sunday to try to disperse the protesters. No one was injured.

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