Hong Kong — Hong Kong riot police have sparked public outrage and criticism again for allegedly exposing a woman’s private parts as she was being arrested during a protest at Tin Yiu Plaza last Sunday (Aug 4).
Photos and video footage show that police surrounded a female protester wearing a dress before carrying her off to be arrested. The woman’s dress was lifted up and her underpants were ripped off.
Netizens were angered at how the police had “no regard for a woman’s dignity” and questioned why police did not bother to cover up the woman before they took her away to the station.
A spokesperson for the Hong Kong police addressed the controversy in a press conference. Senior Police Superintendent Yolanda Yui Hoi Kwan denied that any sexual violance took place and stated that the woman’s dress was accidentally pulled up because she struggled and refused to be arrested.
“During the process, she did not cooperate. We found three female officers to subdue her. But because she struggled and did not cooperate, two more male officers came to subdue her… Because she was wearing a dress and because she struggled, that was maybe why you saw what was shown in the video,” Yui said.
The woman was taken to be arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer.
The media and netizens have dubbed the woman as the “Tin Shui Wai girl.”
In an online forum, the woman explained that she was “safe and unharmed” besides a number of bruises after the protest and arrest. Additionally, she said the female officers looked after her following the scuffle. However, male officers swore at her in Cantonese as she was screaming about her skirt.
Although the “indecent scene” had been publicised, she was hopeful that the incident can shed a light on excessive police force and brutality.
On Monday (Aug 5), demonstrators and gender rights advocacy groups gathered at Tin Shui Wai Police Station to condemn the violence. Police dispersed the crowd with tear gas and arrested 76 people./TISG