Hong Kong police withdraw coronavirus fines handed to siblings caught up in anti-government protest

Danny Mok
·2-min read

Hong Kong police have withdrawn HK$4,000 (US$515) in fines issued to a 12-year-old girl and her older brother for violating social-distancing rules brought in to combat the coronavirus, after they were caught up in an anti-government protest in September.

Footage of the girl being restrained by an officer during the incident in Mong Kok previously sparked public outrage, and complaints over excessive use of force, after he was seen kneeling on her back during a dispersal operation on Sai Yeung Choi Street South.

The brother, 20, was detained after attempting to help his sister, and both suffered minor bruises during the incident.

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Protesters took to the streets on September 6 to demonstrate against the national security law, and the decision to delay the Legislative Council elections for a year because of the virus.

The incident in Mong Kok was captured on video. Photo: Handout
The incident in Mong Kok was captured on video. Photo: Handout

The pair’s mother had said her children were in the area to buy paint, she would not pay the fine, and would file a complaint.

Police said the girl had run away “in a suspicious manner” when approached, and minimum force was used to subdue her. But the force referred the case to the Complaints Against Police Office.

On Wednesday, the family received two notices from police, stating the penalty tickets had been cancelled and they were not required to pay.

Yau Tsim Mong district councillor Andy Yu Tak-po, who had been helping the family, said the withdrawals proved police had made mistakes in their “indiscriminate prosecutions”.

“These were absolutely indiscriminate prosecutions and not just against the brother and sister but in many other cases,” Yu said, who also called on police chief Chris Tang Ping-keung to apologise over the incident.

This article Hong Kong police withdraw coronavirus fines handed to siblings caught up in anti-government protest first appeared on South China Morning Post

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