Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, currently in custody for a protest-related charge, says he was put in solitary confinement because a “foreign object”—which an officer explained could be “drugs, rings or gold and silver” items—was found in his stomach.
In a letter published on his Facebook page Tuesday via a visitor who met him in prison, the 24-year-old wrote that he was placed in an isolated cell after his x-ray scan reportedly showed abnormalities.
“I was completely confused about the X-rays result. I have never had anything to do with drugs, and all food I had before remand were normal food,” Wong wrote in the letter dated Nov. 25, adding he was not able to see his x-ray scans and verify that there was indeed a “foreign object.”
Wong’s note marked his first words to the outside world since he was held in custody on Nov. 23 after pleading guilty to participating in a protest outside the police headquarters last year.
Activists Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam, who also face charges of leading and inciting the demonstration, were also remanded.
When he arrived at Lai Chi Kok Reception Center that day, Wong said he went through the usual procedures including changing into prison clothes and having his fingerprints taken.
From there, officers took him to a hospital at the center.
“While I thought it was a normal procedure to see doctor, I was taken to a single cell at the end of the hospital corridor. At that moment, I knew it was the beginning of the nightmare,” Wong wrote.
In the letter, he described prison guards keeping the lights on in his cell for 24 hours, forcing him to use his face mask to cover his eyes in an attempt to fall asleep.
As he was isolated due to presumed prior use of drugs, officers woke him up every four hours in the middle of the night to check his blood pressure and oxygen levels.
Wong said he signed a form that clearly stated “suspected possession of drugs in the inmate’s body,” which gave him an “uncomfortable feeling.”
He added that he was also denied access to a toilet and running tap water, a rule likely meant to prevent offenders from washing down their drugs, and was only given a “plastic plate.”
“But because of the lack of replacement of the toilet plate, I could only use the washbasin to urinate. After I excreted in the plate, I needed to inform the officer to come to the cell and check the excrement for any foreign objects such as pills or drugs,” he wrote.
The protest leader is understood to have been released from solitary confinement at the time the letter was posted.
Wong, Chow and Lam will return to court tomorrow for sentencing. Wong said earlier that he expects to be handed a jail term, and if so, this would be the activist’s fourth stint in prison since he rose to prominence for his leading role in the 2014 Umbrella Movement.