In connection with the 2016 Lunar New Year Mongkok police-civilian clash, more than 90 Hongkongers have been arrested, some of whom have been prosecuted, tried and/or sentenced. Yesterday (18 January), the police prosecuted three more men suspected of having committed rioting, criminal damage and arson during the incident. The defendants are to appear before the plea court of West Kowloon Magistracy on the 30th of this month. The prosecution of these three men increases the number of political prisoners in Hong Kong to 49. So far, 20 people have been sent to prison for taking part in the Mongkok police-civilian clash, triggered off by the police’s provocation of citizens trying to protect cooked food hawkers from food hygiene officers during the Lunar New Year. E.g., last year, Edward Leung Tin-kei, former spokesman of the localist group, Hong Kong Indigenous, was sent to jail for six years for taking part in the Mongkok clash; and a 72-year-old Chan Wo-cheung was given a prison sentence of 41 months. Six are now being tried in High Court for the same case, including Edward Leung (re-tried).
The first newly prosecuted defendant is surnamed Tam, 21 years old, arrested in Tai Po on 11 April 2017. He is charged with one offence of rioting and one of criminal damage. He claims to be a bartender with neither criminal record nor political background. He lives with his family in a public housing estate in Tai Po. The second defendant is a 22-year-old man surnamed Wong, who claims to be a student of the Open University. He was arrested in Yau Ma Tei outside his residence on 3 November 2016. He is prosecuted for 2 offences of criminal damage. The third defendant claims to be a swimming coach. He was arrested in his residence in Sau Mau Ping on 18 August 2016. He is charged with one offence of arson.
Photo credit: RTHK