Fears circulating on social media that police were searching a Hong Kong University dormitory last night seeking to arrest participants in Wednesday’s anti-extradition bill protest appear to be unfounded, though two of the dorm’s residents had previously been arrested on suspicion of loitering on the day of the chaotic protest.
Local media initially reported last night that police had search warrants for the Simon K.Y. Lee Hall, at the University of Hong Kong in Pok Fu Lam. However, it was reported hours later that cops did not enter the dorm, and a livestream video posted by Campus TV, HKU’s student TV station, shows no police officers entered the building, which was surrounded by press.
The Democratic Party posted on Facebook that two of their lawmakers — Ted Hui and Roy Kwong — were providing assistance to the two dorm residents arrested on Wednesday.
【2334】重點update：1. 確實有喺呢座宿舍住嘅港大學生被捕2. 警察最後未有到場搜宿舍，我哋無法得知究竟係假消息定係警察知道件事揚左所以取消行動3….
The lawmakers said that police didn’t search the student dormitories, adding that they weren’t sure if the rumors of a warrant were merely fake news, or if police had decided to cancel the search after word got out.
The police have not come
Just spoke to Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui – he is not sure about whether the police ever intended to come, but says he felt responsible as a lawmaker to respond to students’ request for assistance. He adds that students living here are terrified pic.twitter.com/U6CSbVTTRr
— Aaron Mc Nicholas (@aaronMCN) June 13, 2019
The two students are among 11 people who have been arrested in relation to extradition bill protests in Admiralty on Wednesday, which descended into chaos as police used tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, batons, and bean bag rounds to disperse the largely peaceful demonstrators. The heavy-handed response has since been widely criticized as excessive.
Ming Pao, citing a statement from a spokesperson for Simon K.Y. Lee Hall, reported that two dorm residents were arrested on suspicion of loitering during the “clearance operation” on Wednesday. They said that volunteer lawyers have offered legal assistance to both students, who are currently out on bail, and that the hall will ensure that police have sufficient legal justification before entering the premises.
Apple Daily reports that of the 11 people arrested so far, at least six are students at local universities.
HK01 also reported that four police cars had been spotted parked outside student dorms belonging to the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong in Hung Hom and Ho Man Tin, and that students at the Kowloon-side university said they had spotted plainclothes cops in some campus buildings, as well as several uniformed police officers patrolling parts of the area.
A spokesperson from PolyU said they have not received any notices from law enforcement agencies on duty on campus, and hadn’t received any requests for assistant from any of its students so far.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority also felt the need to clear up some “unfounded rumours circulating in the social media” last night, saying in a statement that contrary to netizens’ claims, “among the protest activities related casualties admitted to public hospitals in the past two days, none of the patient [were] deceased.”
“As at 10pm tonight, 81 casualties related to the protest activities attended the Accident and Emergency Department of 10 public hospitals, including 57 males and 24 females aged from 15 to 66,” the English-language statement reads. “Three males and two females are staying at hospitals with stable condition.”