HK protest teenager sent to chil­dren’s home

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A 14-year-old Hong Kong girl ar­rested for scrib­bling graf­fiti on a wall fa­mous for the pro-democ­racy mes­sages it car­ried has been sent to a chil­dren’s home, her lawyer said Tues­day.

Po­lice de­tained the girl for chalk­ing a flower on the “Len­non Wall,” a stair­case at the main Ad­mi­ralty protest site which be­came plas­tered with brightly col­ored notes of support for the democ­racy move­ment dur­ing more than two months of ral­lies.

Notes and mes­sages have spo­rad­i­cally been posted on the wall since the protest sites were cleared by po­lice ear­lier in De­cem­ber.

The teenager was ar­rested in the early hours of Dec. 23 after scrawl­ing on the wall and was de­tained for 17 hours, said solic­i­tor Pa­tri­cia Ho.

She was sent to a chil­dren’s home on Mon­day for three weeks while a court con­sid­ers a po­lice ap­pli­ca­tion for a care and pro­tec­tion or­der which could see her re­moved from her fa­ther’s care, said Ho.

She de­scribed the move as “dis­pro­por­tion­ate” and “shock­ing.”

The girl has been in trou­ble with po­lice be­fore, said Ho, but she added there was no ev­i­dence that she was not well cared for at home.

In a sep­a­rate case, a 14-year-old boy could also be re­moved from his par­ents fol­low­ing his ar­rest as po­lice cleared the Mong Kok protest camp in late Novem­ber.

Po­lice have ap­plied for a care and pro­tec­tion or­der for him.

“Th­ese types of or­ders are usu­ally sought in ex­treme cases, for ex­am­ple the child is on drugs, or trad­ing drugs or pros­ti­tut­ing them­selves,” Ho told AFP.

“It’s a very wor­ry­ing trend ... it’s im­pos­ing a cli­mate of fear.”

The mag­is­trate at Mon­day’s hear­ing deemed it safer for the teenager to go into a girls’ home, Ho said. The ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the court al­leges that she is be­ing ne­glected by her fam­ily.

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