Accusations fly amidparty line on attacks

Top News | Cindy Wan and Stella Wong 23 Jul 2019

Pan-democrats criticized police inaction on Sunday night, saying it has led to people losing all trust in the force and living in fear.

The pro-establishment camp, however, criticized protesters for triggering violent clashes in various districts, which hindered the police from deploying officers effectively.

Yesterday, lawmakers from both camps came forward to condemn the attacks in Yuen Long, urging the police to take immediate action to ensure no further violence erupts.

But that was all they had in common.

The pan-dem camp accused the police of "colluding" with the triads.

"Dialing 999 didn't work. Some officers were witnessed bypassing thugs who were wearing white tops and walking away," said camp convener Claudia Mo Man-ching.

Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu accused the police of lying when a police commander insisted he saw no weapons after conducting an investigation in a village.

Speaking for the pro-government camp, Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong chief Starry Lee Wai-king, reading a joint statement, said it strongly condemned the violence.

"The police must act on, investigate and prevent such extreme, illegal violent acts from happening," she said.

Leung Che-cheung, also from the DAB, attributed the violence to Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who was injured by a mob of white-clad men.

There had been a standoff between citizens and the men in white, but Lam's "provocative remarks" fueled the tension and caused the violence, Leung said.

In response, Lam said he went to Yuen Long MTR station after watching videos of young people being assaulted.

He added that he was recognized as a lawmaker and then beaten by the rod-wielding men.

Meanwhile, more than 61,000 people signed an online petition launched by doctors, teachers and social workers to express dissatisfaction with a government statement, which had used a stronger tone to criticize the Sheung Wan protest than the Yuen Long attack.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association, Hong Kong Press Photographers Association and Independent Commentators Association also weighed in with a joint statement saying the assaults on journalists "constitute a severe infringement of press freedom."

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