Wednesday, September 3, 2014   




`Long Hair' among Suen home protesters held

Winnie Chong

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Five more housing activists, including lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok- hung, have been arrested for allegedly trying to break into the home of the housing chief, bringing the total number of people detained so far to 10.

The latest arrests followed Sunday's incident in which about 30 activists gathered outside the Happy Valley residence of Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming- yeung.

They demanded that Suen protect public housing tenants from excessive rent increases by placing a cap of 10 percent on rent hikes under the Housing (Amendment) Bill which is due to be voted on next week.

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The protest turned violent when some demonstrators broke through a police cordon and got close to Suen's home.

Five policemen and one protester were injured, but all were discharged after treatment in hospital.

Police said they arrested four men and a woman, aged 21 to 51, Tuesday morning on suspicion of having taken part in an illegal gathering and attempting to forcibly enter the premises.

Five other protesters - two men and three women aged 30 to 63 - were arrested earlier. One of them, Au Wai- kuen, 30, appeared in Eastern Court Tuesday, charged with two counts of attacking police officers.

Au was granted bail of HK$500 and the case was adjourned to July 17 to allow the prosecution to seek legal advice and for further investigation.

The other four were earlier released on police bail.

Leung, who was also freed on bail Tuesday, said he believed the arrests were politically motivated to deter people from taking part in protests ahead of July 1.

Housing rights activist Florence Cheung Man-wai, of the Grassroots Housing Rights Defense Alliance, who was among those detained and released on bail, said they had only resorted to peaceful means in trying to seek a meeting with Suen.

But Suen had declined to meet them over the past few years, forcing them to go to his residence before the Housing (Amendment) Bill is passed in the Legislative Council June 13, Cheung said.

She believed the police had acted under political pressure. "We were being pressured not to show up at the coming Legco meeting at which legislators will vote on the bill," she said.


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