Public hospital staff hold protests over police 'abuse of power'

August 13, 2019 16:32
Doctors and nurses at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital stand in silence on Monday to protest against "excessive use of force" by police in clashes with protesters on Sunday. Photo: RTHK

Medical staff from at least seven public hospitals have been staging silent protests over what they said was the excessive use of force by the police in clashes with demonstrators over the weekend.

The protests, staged since Monday, have not affected hospital operations as they are being held during lunch breaks.

At Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, more than 100 doctors and nurses stood in silence for two hours on Monday, holding up placards that read in Chinese, “Black cops, give back the eye” and “Citizens are not tools that police can use to satisfy their desire”, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Some of the protesters had their right eye covered with gauze in sympathy for a woman who was seriously injured after being hit in the eye reportedly with a bean-bag round fired by the police during dispersal operations in Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday.

Medical staff from other public hospitals, including Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Queen Mary Hospital, also staged silent sit-in protests on Tuesday.

On Monday, student unions from 13 local tertiary institutions issued a joint statement calling on the people to join a general strike to demand that police officers who abused their power in dealing with protesters be brought to justice.

The strike will cover schools, businesses and markets, the statement said.

The student leaders also called on the people to continue occupying the airport until their demands, including the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill and the setting up of an independent inquiry into recent violent incidents, are met.

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