Po­lice crit­i­cised over mob vi­o­lence

Fiji Sun - - Asia News - Hong Kong:

Hong Kong Po­lice are fac­ing ac­cu­sa­tions of fail­ing to pro­tect pro-democ­racy ac­tivists who were at­tacked by uniden­ti­fied as­sailants on Sun­day. Op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers say Po­lice in­ac­tion al­lowed crim­i­nals to beat up peace­ful demon­stra­tors af­ter a rally. Dozens were in­jured when they were set upon by masked men wield­ing sticks.

Po­lice say their forces were stretched dur­ing an­other day of un­rest. Hong Kong has been rocked by weeks of protests sparked by an ex­tra­di­tion bill. Late on Sun­day video footage showed groups of men - dressed in white shirts and sus­pected to be triad gang­sters - beat­ing pas­sen­gers with rods at a train sta­tion in the Yuen Long area.

Who were the at­tack­ers?

There is spec­u­la­tion that the at­tack­ers have links with crim­i­nal gangs, known as tri­ads. Forty-five peo­ple were in­jured, with one per­son in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

Hong Kong’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Carrie Lam de­scribed the at­tacks as “shock­ing”.

She also con­demned pro­test­ers for de­fac­ing China’s main representa­tive of­fice in the city ear­lier in the day.

How have ac­tivists re­sponded?

One of the pro-democ­racy law­mak­ers in­jured in the at­tack, Lam Cheuk-ting, crit­i­cised the Po­lice re­sponse and sug­gested the as­sailants were linked to gangs. Alvin Ye­ung, who leads the Civic Party, said: “This is triad gangs beat­ing up Hong Kong peo­ple. Yet you pre­tend noth­ing had hap­pened?”

Hong Kong Po­lice Chief Stephen Lo de­fended his forces, say­ing his of­fi­cers were busy deal­ing with vi­o­lent anti-gov­ern­ment protests else­where.

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