立場新聞 Stand News

STOP MEDIA BLACKOUT AT POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY

2019/11/18 — 11:52

【文:論繆】

We must ensure that the public has the right to know and monitor the action of Hong Kong Police Force as they handle the escalating unrest between the protestors and the police at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (and other universities). In the past week, one university after another has been subject to police brutality. Responding to appeals for help and volunteers, hundreds of protestors have arrived at Polytechnic University in the past two days and joined in the stand-off with the police.

In the past five months, the Hong Kong government has repeatedly failed to defuse the situation. We have seen no effective attempt to broker a peaceful solution by former and current government officials as seen by the latest unrest at Chinese University of Hong Kong. Although some lawmakers and religious leaders arrived at Polytechnic University earlier today seeking to defuse the situation but were faced with threats of arrest by the police. 

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At one of few remaining exits at the Polytechnic University, video footages show that the police fired rounds of tear gas and arrested the protestors as they tried to leave the campus. Members of the media have been attacked and ordered by the police to leave the Polytechnic University. Medics and first-aid responders have been rounded up and handcuffed by the police. 

The current situation is eerily similar to the night of August 31, 2019 at the Prince Edward MTR station, where the police stormed into the station and indiscriminately beat up subway passengers. The police cordoned off the station soon after, resulting in no media coverage of the aftermath. Medics and first-aid responders were not allowed to enter the station to attend to the injured passengers. There was no convincing explanation of what had actually happened in the station. While thousands of protestors are charged with rioting and other serious charges, no police has been charged to date despite police using excessive force in the past few months. The police are not held responsible for breaking the law. At Polytechnic University, we see the heavily armed police using all means to block reporters from reporting the ever-escalating event.

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It should not be forgotten that there is utter absence of accountability of police brutality and many unexplained deaths of protesters have brought us to this dire situation at Polytechnic University. If we let the police impose a media blackout and operate with impunity, they will do it again and again. 

 

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