'Police intimidated me' claims school bullies whistleblower

Top News | Phoenix Un 23 Apr 2019

The whistleblower of a secondary school bullying scandal has criticized the police for allegedly coercing him to retract his testimony.

Videos of the bullying incident were leaked in January, in which a student at Yan Chai Hospital Tung Chi Ying Memorial School in Ma On Shan had his ears twisted by his schoolmates.

He was also pinned to the floor and had his buttocks beaten.

The police arrested eight students aged 17 to 19 for common assault, but the incorporated management committee of the school said the police had decided not to prosecute any of them.

However, Yip Kit-hung, the whistleblower and an 18-year-old alumnus of the school, accused the police of coercing him to change his testimony.

Yip received the videos of the alleged bullying on WhatsApp and brought it to light.

He uploaded the videos onto Facebook in January, spoke to the media and reported it to the police.

Yip said after he revealed the incident, Organized Crime Investigation Team Five of Sha Tin District phoned him on January 26 for a detailed account of what happened.

However, when he was brought to Sha Tin Police Station, he claimed he was coerced to retract his testimony.

He recalled that the police not only lambasted him for spreading the news, but also urged him to stop doing interviews.

They also allegedly rejected his request to have his family present when he gave statement.

He said during the five-hour ordeal, the police intimidated him and forced him to sign his name on testimony that he didn't agree with. He was also not provided with a copy of the testimony.

Yip said he had no choice but to sign, and felt he was being "assaulted" by the police a second time.

Yip obtained a copy of the testimony with the help of a lawyer, and found that the police wrote things such as "news reports were quite exaggerated and untrue, totally different from what I answered" and "I just want the police to remind the school and the students to be concerned about the incident and avoid similar scandals from happening, thus I agree with how the police handled the case, and I have no intention to pursue anybody."

Yip said he found it difficult to understand why the students involved were not prosecuted, and was disappointed with the police's actions.

He questioned whether Hong Kong is still under the rule of law after the police told him to sign his name on testimony admitting that he had lied.

He said he will lodge a formal complaint to the Complaints Against Police Office.

Legislator Au Nok-hin, assisting Yip, said the police created false testimony if what Yip claim was true.

"It's not only severe misconduct, but might also involve perverting the course of justice," he said.

He also said the police did not guarantee Yip's legal rights.

Demosisto secretary-general Joshua Wong Chi-fung, who is also offering help to Yip, said the case showed the police may have fabricated testimony, abused their power and been biased towards the students allegedly involved in the bullying scandal.

phoenix.un@singtaonewscorp.com

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