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Opening remarks by Police Chief Superintendent at press conference

     Following are the opening remarks by the Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Mr Hui Chun-tak, at the press conference today (November 19):

     First of all, Police strongly condemned the violent acts of some radical protestors who stormed the Legislative Council (LegCo) Complex in the early hours of today.  The riotous acts had seriously disrupted public order and public safety and led to damage in various parts of the LegCo Complex.

     At about 1am this morning, a group of radical individuals and troublemakers wearing helmets, goggles, surgical masks or facemasks repeatedly charged the glass doors of the Complex.  They used mills barriers, bricks, concrete drainage covers and rubbish bins to smash the glass doors and damage the building facade.

     At about 1.05am, Police received a request for assistance from the LegCo.  Police promptly arrived at scene and set up a cordon line outside the Complex to prevent violent radicals and troublemakers from further damaging the building and to preserve public safety and public order.  Regrettably, some protestors obstructed Police reinforcements and led to serious confrontations.  These radical protestors continued to incite others to charge Police.  They verbally abused and provoked Police through loudhailers at close range and used flashlight to obscure the view of officers.  They even threw umbrellas, plastic bottles and helmets at Police or charged Police officers resulting in violent confrontations.  Some officers were pushed onto the ground and sustained injuries.

     Police issued multiple warnings through announcement and display of warning banners at scene.  These radical individuals and troublemakers ignored the warnings and continued to charge Police violently.  Police had no alternative but to take resolute action and use minimum level of force by using pepper spray and batons to stop the violent acts.  At the request of LegCo Secretariat, Police inspected the Complex to ensure that no radical individuals remained thereat.

     Police have so far arrested six males, aged between 18 and 24, for .criminal damage・ and .assaulting police・ in connection with the violent incident. Three Police officers were injured and required medical treatment.

     I notice that some people incited others to block access to the LegCo Complex on the Internet in an attempt to prevent LegCo members from entering the building for meetings.  I have to point out that there are many rumours and inaccurate information being circulated on the Internet. Members of the public have to make careful judgment to avoid being incited or used for illegal acts.  I have to remind the public that anyone who obstructs LegCo members from attending LegCo meetings may be criminally liable.  On the other hand, it is against the law to incite others on the Internet to commit illegal acts.  The rule of law is the cornerstone of Hong Kong・s success and everyone should obey the law.  Anyone who commits an illegal act, be it in the real world or cyber world, has to bear criminal liability and be subject to legal sanction.  Police will continue to investigate the case and may make further arrests.

     Police stress that we will not tolerate any acts of violence.  Police have commenced a thorough criminal investigation and will bring those criminally liable to justice.

     The second point concerns the Injunction Order on the blockage of roads in Mong Kok. The Court of First Instance has authorized bailiffs to assist the plaintiffs in removing obstructions and that the bailiffs can request the assistance of Police when necessary.  The court has further authorized Police to arrest those who obstruct the bailiffs in executing their duties.  Today, Police had a meeting with the plaintiffs and bailiffs in respect of the Injunction Orders relating to the blockage in Mong Kok.  When the relevant parties have finalized the preparation, Police will assist the bailiffs to execute the Injunction Orders.

     Police stress that the bailiffs are authorized by the court to execute court orders.  Any acts amounting to obstruction may render one liable to the offence of .criminal contempt of court・.  I appeal to protestors not to be incited by radical individuals and troublemakers to obstruct or violently charge the bailiffs.  Police will take resolute actions against those who obstruct or violently charge the bailiffs who are executing their duties.  When necessary, Police will use other powers conferred by the law to preserve public order and public safety.  Police will also reclaim government property, such as mills barriers and water barriers, which have been illegally taken by the illegal road occupiers.

     Police once again urge the illegal road occupiers to obey the court orders, remove obstacles and personal belongings, and to leave in a peaceful and orderly manner so that the roads can be re-opened and public order restored.

     I want to emphasize that the illegally occupied part of Mong Kok remains a high-risk area.  There are radicals and troublemakers of different camps provoking others in the illegally occupied areas.  There is also a large assembly of people with different views who often dispute with each other in an emotional state, thereby increasing the chance of confrontation.  Large-scale confrontations may be sparked off any time in Mong Kok.  At about 2.15am this morning, Police arrested a 52-year-old man for .common assault・ and the case is now being handled by District Investigation Team of Mong Kok District.  Members of the public, especially students, are urged to stay away from these areas and parents should not bring children there to avoid any unnecessary injuries.  I notice that some radical individuals and troublemakers have incited others to commit illegal acts of violence on the Internet or at scene, and even provided supplies to facilitate the violent charging actions.  However, these people left at once when violent confrontations were sparked off to avoid criminal liability and to shed the responsibility to others.  I wish to remind the public that anyone taking part in such violent acts will have to bear the criminal liability.  As such, do not be incited or used by others to commit illegal acts of violence.

     I would like to sum up the two key messages today.  Firstly, Police strongly condemned the violent radicals for storming and damaging the LegCo Complex.  Police will not tolerate any acts of violence in breach of public order and public safety.  Such violent acts are not acceptable in society.  Secondly, when the relevant parties have finished their preparation, Police will assist the bailiffs in executing the Injunction Orders concerning the blockage of roads in Mong Kok.  Police are prepared and will take resolute actions against those who obstruct or violently charge the bailiffs who are executing their duties.  Members of the public should not be incited or used by radical individuals or troublemakers to commit acts of violence.  Police also urge the illegal road occupiers to obey the court orders, remove obstacles and personal belongings, and to stop occupying the roads to allow daily life of the general public to resume normal.

Ends/Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Issued at HKT 20:12


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