Human rights violations on the rise in Hong Kong as rioters escalate violence

2019-10-12 08:31:49Xinhua Editor : Gu Liping ECNS App Download

Over the past four months of unrest in Hong Kong, radicals or rioters glorified themselves as "defenders of human rights" in a fight for freedom and democracy. 

But what's happening in Hong Kong is exactly the opposite, as violations of human rights are on the rise amid escalating violence. 

As violence spread in streets, on trains, at shopping malls or even banks and cafes in Hong Kong, cases of infringement of personal safety jumped over the months. 


When Celine Ma, a well-known Hong Kong actress, spoke out against the protestors and took pictures of those who were vandalizing a bank outlet at Mong Kok in Kowloon on Sunday, she was outnumbered, surrounded, sprayed in the face, punched, shoved to the ground and had a glass bottle smashed over her head by an angry mob who were chanting "freedom" and "democracy." 

She received 11 stitches at the hospital after she pled with Robert Ovadia, a journalist and news anchor who was covering the violence and trying to interview her for 7News Australia, to escort her to the nearby police station.

Other cases of people speaking out and getting brutally assaulted played out across Hong Kong after demonstrations, stemming from the now withdrawn amendments to two ordinances concerning the transfer of fugitives, turned violent and ugly. 

Over the weekend, an older and barebacked man was pounded to the ground by stick-wielding rioters when he was arguing with a crowd, according to a video clip widely circulated online. 

Fu Guohao, a journalist for the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper, was tortured and placed under rioters' unlawful imprisonment in their illegal occupation of the Hong Kong International Airport in August. 


Privacy is no longer respected, either, as radicals created a torrent of abuse and terror online with the rampant doxxing. 

The Australian journalist helping Ma was immediately judged and avenged, too, with his name and picture circulated among protestors. 

Previously, privacy about more than 2,200 police officers and their families has been abused online, with floods of targeted harassment, profanities and life threats, after their identity cards, telephone numbers, home address and other private information were illegally leaked online.

Such abuses have moved from online to the real world, where radicals are more than willing to take off-limits actions. 

In September, a mob showed up and deliberately set off the fire alarm at a hall where an off-duty police officer was holding a wedding banquet. More annoyingly, the mob cursed and insulted the wedding with typical Chinese funeral customs, such as delivering a severed pig's head and tossing joss paper at the scene. 

Lin Ka-wing, a 40-year-old teacher at Tsing Yi Trade Association Tseung Kwan O Kindergarten, was arrested and charged last week with assaulting a three-year-old girl on her chest multiple times inside a school toilet in September because the kid said she has family members working for the police. 


Free speech is at risk too. 

Radicals have created an atmosphere of hostility in which anyone who publicly voices support for the police or the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government will be doxxed and targeted. 

Last month, a woman was threatened after she said at a community dialogue session with HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam that she was scared to see black-clad and masked people and was not afraid of police officers. 

Radicals also used online forums to spread discriminatory and intimidatory slanders and agitate violence against new immigrants. 

On Tuesday, Chan Wai-keung, a lecturer at Hong Kong Community College, was besieged for nearly five hours by a mob of unsolicited and masked students at the classroom where he was lecturing. 

The besiege, full of radicals' shouting of obscenities, intimidation and vision-harming shots of laser beams against Chan, came after the lecturer wrote recently in a commentary for a newspaper suggesting police charge mobsters with rioting as part of greater deterrence efforts to end chaos following a new regulation to ban face covering in assemblies. 

Chan was not the only victim of intimidating acts across Hong Kong that sought to stifle different views from that of the radicals. 

When Rocky Tuan, president of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, met with about 600 students and alumni Thursday at campus, he was reviled with obscenities by hysterical students who shot laser beams at him and repeatedly interrupted his replies. 

At the meeting, a senior alumnus who reminded radical students to be polite toward the university president was chided "go to hell," while a female student from the mainland who advised students not to overstep the bottom line of rule of law was replied by hysterical yelling of intimidation. 

"Why asking a question by a student of different views becomes so difficult?" Tuan said, stressing freedom of speech has its boundary. "I strongly urge all of you to give everyone a voice." 


From Wan Chai to Sha Tin, from Tsuen Wan to Tseung Kwan O, an increasing number of vandalism against personal property with greater ferocity have roiled Hong Kong in recent weeks, with black-clad and masked rioters stepping up the intensity of violence, intimidating those with different views, attacking individuals, smashing and torching stores, banks and cafes.

In their rampage, rioters also set up barricades and barriers to block roads at multiple locations, intercepted vehicles, or even blackmailed businesses because of their owners' different political views. 

A 59-year-old taxi driver suffered critical injuries by a vigilante beating Sunday, as he lost control of the taxi after someone broke in and pulled on the steering wheel before hitting a woman in a car accident in Sham Shui Po, where an unauthorized procession was held. 

Cheng, the driver, was then battered unconscious by the mob. 

Earlier in July, another driver surnamed Chan had his newly bought van smashed and himself beaten up by rioters in Central, after he begged for a way out in an argument with a mob who had blocked roads and stranded vehicles for four hours. 

In a post on his Facebook page after being doxxed, Ovadia, the journalist with 7News Australia, said he has received a flood of private messages in compliment for the unbiased coverage, but many said they don't want to fall victim to the angry mob either. 

"If these people are truly fighting for democratic rights, they must observe their own principles," Ovadia said, "One has to wonder what sort of democracy they are trying to preserve."


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


CNS Photo
Special Coverage
Back to top Links | About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2019 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.