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The Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild and other local film industry professional bodies “strongly condemn” the indiscriminate attack committed toward Hong Kong citizens by a local white shirt-clad mob in a train station on Sunday. The associations also call for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry to investigate police action since June, when the Chinese territory under the “one country two system” held a series of protests and marches against the Extradition Bill that would allow suspects to be tried in the Chinese judiciary system, which has a subpar human rights record.
The statement co-signed by the Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild and the Hong Kong Screenwriters’ Guild, released on Wednesday, expressed “extreme anger” toward the “terrorist attack” and the lack of police assistance to the victims, and urged to “stop white terror.” It also demanded the full withdrawal of the bill in accordance with the legislative council rule of procedure. The city’s leader Carrie Lam has described the bill as being “temporarily suspended” or “dead” since mid-June, but neither description is legally binding.
The Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild is presided by Eight Taels of Gold helmer Mabel Cheung, with Project Gutenberg director Felix Chong as one of the vice presidents and Jackie Chan among the honorary presidents. Members include such world-renowned directors as Wong Kar Wai, John Woo, Tsui Hark, Andrew Lau and Johnnie To.
The Hong Kong Film Arts Association and the Hong Kong Film Assistant Directors’ Association have also released statements strongly denouncing the “lawlessness,” indiscriminate violence and police inaction at the train station scene on Sunday.
On Sunday night, a large group of men in white T-shirts, allegedly triad members aiming to target black-clad protesters returning from an anti-extradition march in the afternoon on the other side of the city, brutally attacked citizens indiscriminately with canes, sticks, and pipes in the foyer and platform of a train station in a northern district in Hong Kong, and proceeded to barge inside a train and beat defenseless passengers. Victims included a pregnant woman, the elderly, children, journalists and legislators, resulting in 45 people being hospitalized. The attack lasted over an hour, and no police officers showed up at the scene during that time. Police stations in the immediate and neighboring districts were found to have shut their gates, and callers to the emergency number were hung up on or told “not to go out if they were scared.” While most callers said the 999 line was busy, the law enforcement has since revealed that over 24,000 calls were received while the attack was in progress. The police is under suspicion of having prior knowledge of the attack, and their inaction, in addition to a pro-Beijing legislator having been filmed after the attack shaking an attacker’s hands and calling them “you are my hero,” have led to questions of who was the instigator and the suspected unholy alliance between triads, the police and pro-Beijing legislators.
On the same night, on the other side of town, police shot 36 rounds of rubber bullets at anti-bill protesters without warning, after protesters vandalized the Chinese national emblem and the walls of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong. The law enforcement first used ammunition against anti-bill protesters on June 12, an occasion that has been verified as disproportionate use of force by Amnesty International.
The incidents have caused outrage across the city, and an atmosphere of fear has descended on the districts around where the beatings have taken place, with a majority of shops closed on the subsequent day following rumors of further attacks. Members from 44 government branches, including the police force’s fellow “disciplined services” such as the fire services, correctional services, customs and excise, and immigration departments have voiced out against the police’s selective law enforcement and conduct, and requested the setup of an independent commission of inquiry.
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