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2019-08-23 HKT 16:59
An anti-extradition protester has accused police of conducting an unnecessary strip search and striking her with a pen while she was in custody, in what she says amounts to abuse.
The woman, speaking under the pseudonym of Ms Lui, told a press conference that two uniformed female officers who conducted the search at a police station had hit her arms with a pen to prevent her from covering up her body, and used the same tool to force her to spread her legs wider.
When she got out of the room, Lui said many male officers were standing right outside the door.
One of her lawyers said the search was completely unnecessary, as she had already spent several days at a hospital to treat injuries she suffered during her arrest, and officers had already searched her clothes.
She said officers who guarded her during her stay in hospital constantly verbally abused her.
Lui added that she was supposed to go straight to court after being released from hospital, but she was instead taken to a nearby police station first, where the search was conducted.
A member of her legal team, associate solicitor Olga Choi, said it was a difficult decision for Lui to come forward.
“After this incident actually she has a period of time where she had depression”, Choi said. “She was not willing to go out to the streets because she is afraid that she would see any policeman and because she was for a very long time afraid of coming out to speak out.”
Her lawyers are now deciding how best to pursue the case, and are gathering evidence for a possible criminal case accusing the police of indecent assault or conspiracy.
At one point during the press conference, Lui recited the identification numbers of both officers who conducted the search.
Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan, who’s assisting Lui, urged the police force to investigate the matter as soon as possible.
Responding to the allegations at a daily press conference, the police said they understand body searches may make people feel uncomfortable but hope the public understands that they are necessary and strict guidelines are followed.
As they had just learnt about the allegations, they couldn’t provide much information. But the police said they will follow up on the matter once they receive a complaint.
Last updated: 2019-08-23 HKT 18:45