Statement: Hong Kong Watch condemn gang violence and police failure to protect citizens

On 21 July 2019, hundreds of gangsters wearing white, likely members of triads, assaulted commuters, protesters, journalists and a lawmaker in Yuen Long, Hong Kong. Hong Kong Watch condemn the violence, and the police’s failure to uphold the rule of law and protect civilians.

The police refused to accept responsibility, despite failing to respond to multiple emergency calls from the men, women and children being beaten up. No arrests were made on the evening of the event. They have denied knowing that violence was planned, photographic evidence of the mobsters walking next to and talking with riot police, while holding sticks ready for battle, suggests otherwise. The fact that many of mob were not wearing masks suggests that they thought that they could act with impunity.

The Hong Kong government must make it an urgent priority to call an independent, judge-led inquiry into police actions over the last few months. Those who are guilty of attacking civilians must be held to account and face trial.

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