A number of volunteer lawyers have accused the police of deliberately taking arrested protesters to the primitive San Uk Ling Holding Centre and making it difficult for families and legal workers to contact them.

Dozens of protesters arrested during recent anti-government demonstrations have been detained at the facility near the border, which is said to lack basic equipment like CCTV cameras.

One of the lawyers, who gave her surname as Yeung, told RTHK that there are no windows in the meeting rooms and therefore they are forced to speak to their clients with the doors open.

She said the lack of privacy deterred many from giving a full account of what had happened to them.

Yeung added that there’s only one fixed telephone line at the facility, making it almost impossible for those arrested to notify their families promptly.

The police had admitted that out of 54 people arrested on August 11 during protests in Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, 18 had their statements taken by officers without first seeing a lawyer.

Police had previously denied allegations that they had made life difficult for lawyers, saying it takes time to arrange meetings given the large number of arrested people and limited space at the facility, adding it is a suspect’s own decision whether to consult a lawyer or not.