Cops probe death threats against Lam's family

The Chief Executive's Office has received nine death threats against Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor while Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah got one over the extradition law amendment bill, sources say.

Charlotte Luo

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Chief Executive's Office has received nine death threats against Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor while Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah got one over the extradition law amendment bill, sources say.

Lam was told to resign from her post and withdraw the controversial bill within the next 24 hours or someone would kill members of her family, a source said.

The threat against Cheng was made to her office. The caller said she must resign and retract the bill or petrol bombs would be thrown at her husband to burn him to death.

The second reading of the bill is to resume in the full Legislative Council today, with protests planned by political parties, students, teachers, labor unions and religious groups.

Police are not taking any chances. Security has been strengthened.

Lawmaker Jonathan Ho Kai-ming of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions condemned the threats.

Ho said people can have different views over the bill, but it was not rational to threaten the life of officials and their families.

The police also warned of home-made bombs as they beefed up security in and outside the Legislative Council. Chains have been used to tie metal barriers together outside the building.

The council's designated protest area has been closed to the public since yesterday, with police on patrol.

In a note to lawmakers, it said closing the protest area was necessary because of damage after protesters rammed barriers into police officers outside the Legco building on Sunday night following the mass rally against the bill.

The note also said security guards at Legco were not equipped to deal with similar clashes.

The East Wing Forecourt of the Central Government Offices was closed at 6pm yesterday until further notice.

Police were outside Legco and streets throughout the city. A police source said many were deployed to Legco to stand by with pepper spray and bean-bag rounds. Officers' shifts have been increased from eight to 12 hours. A source said the police will launch an operation codenamed Tiderider from 8am today. They will deploy 5,000 officers all over Hong Kong Island every day until the bill passed next week. Police yesterday appealed to all people who join the assembly today to follow police instructions.

If anyone deliberately commits illegal activities, the police will enforce the law decisively.

Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung of the Police Public Relations Branch said it was noted from the internet and other channels that some citizens called on the public to continue to resort to violence, including attacking the police and snatching police revolvers.

Some people also appealed to the public to take part in the rally with smoke powder and gypsum powder to deliberately create chaos, and criticized police for using tear smoke.

Others went on the internet to teach people how to make petrol bombs and other deadly weapons. A man was arrested in West Kowloon on suspicion of possessing offensive weapons on Monday night. Police found he hid a homemade riot shield and folding knife. This came after a man was charged with two counts of arson after petrol bombs were thrown at a police vehicle outside the Wan Chai police headquarters and at the Happy Valley police station on Friday.

Kong said police also noticed that some people called for blocking the main roads.

He warned that there is chance that they might be committing a public nuisance.

Vehicles blocking roads would be removed.

"One person picnics" are among the protests scheduled today. This was originally arranged for Tamar Park. However, the park's lawn was cordoned off with tapes yesterday.

A note was put up by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department saying viewing platform No 1 and the adjoining lawn are closed between April 23 and June 16 for re-turfing work.