Medics stage silent protest

Medical staff, including doctors at 13 public hospitals, held a lunchtime sit-in against "police brutality," with many of them wearing masks and black ribbons. Most medical personnel returned to work after the silent protests. At Queen Elizabeth Hospital, over 200 medics gathered in a...

Cindy Wan

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Medical staff, including doctors at 13 public hospitals, held a lunchtime sit-in against "police brutality," with many of them wearing masks and black ribbons.

Most medical personnel returned to work after the silent protests.

At Queen Elizabeth Hospital, over 200 medics gathered in a lobby, with some covering one eye with gauze to complain about the police's "brutal enforcement," including the rupturing of a young woman's eye with a suspected bean bag round in Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday.

They held cardboard signs reading: "Police attempt to murder citizens," with illustrations of the injured woman.

Wong Lok-yu, a doctor of the emergency ward, said the bean bag round lodged in the woman's goggles is the strongest evidence she was injured by police.

He appealed to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to stop police violence, saying she is the only one who can put a halt to further injuries.

Police also sent more officers to monitor patients who were arrested but their presence has increased the mental pressure on other patients in hospital, he said.

At Princess Margaret Hospital, more than 500 signatures were collected for a petition demanding punishment for officers who abused power.

Ho Pak-leung, professor of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong, read out Lam's election platform and accused her of failing to fulfill her promises of resolving social conflicts.

"I did not see she had cared about and listened to the citizens. I hope she reads her platform every night before she sleeps," he said. Ho said the government should launch immediate and effective measures, including the establishment of an independent inquiry to investigate brutality and arrest officers who used excessive force.

Another microbiology professor at the university, Yuen Kwok-yung, who said he would not put himself in either the blue or yellow camp, attended the sit-in.

Yuen said medical personnel were disheartened to see youngsters committing suicide and people getting injured from the unrest.

Both police and protesters used force, but officers caused more injuries because their weapons were powerful, he said, adding the police should also not call protesters "cockroaches."

Tseung Kwan O Hospital, Tuen Mun Hospital, Caritas Medical Centre, Hong Kong Children's Hospital, Queen Mary Hospital, Kwong Wah Hospital, Kowloon Hospital, Yan Chai Hospital, North District Hospital and United Christian Hospital also had silent protests at noon yesterday.

A spokesman said the Hospital Authority understands the medics' action of expressing opinions and made arrangements on patients' services for the rallies.

Public hospitals are not ideal places for assemblies, but the authority believes staff will continue to serve the patients professionally, he said.

Separately, the Civil Human Rights Front has applied to organize its sixth protest on Sunday.

Convener Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit said the march will start at 3pm at Victoria Park, going to Chater Garden in Central, and it will target "police collusion with triads."

He said the march will be conducted in a peaceful, rational and non-violent manner, adding that elder family members and children are welcome.

"Let's tell the government the citizens stand on the side of conscience," Sham said. He said no clashes had happened during the front's marches before.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com