A woman who was hit in the eye with what was believed to be a rubber bullet during recent anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong has called for an end to police violence.
Wearing a mask and an eye patch, and with her voice modified to avoid detection, the woman whose horrific injury became a rallying cry of “an eye for an eye” of the movement, hit out at Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, who she blamed for allowing the police to abuse their power in a bid to end the protests that have gripped the city since early June.
“The connivance by chief executive Carrie Lam and the Hong Kong Commissioner of Police has opened the door for the Hong Kong Police Force to descend from being a team of disciplined officers who were supposed to uphold the rule of law and protect lives to a gang of criminals with the intent to murder, mutilate and assault their very own citizens,” the woman, who was hailed on social media as a “real-life Mulan,” said in a video statement.
“You have failed Hong Kong, which has always striven to be the world’s safest and most stable society, and her people,” she said.
Photos of the woman, who gave only a pseudonym, Tsai Lam-miu, made international headlines as she lay on a pavement, bleeding from one eye.
Anti-extradition protesters now regularly cover one eye in reference to her injury, and to protest police violence against them.
“As a first-hand victim of police brutality, I am forced to condemn the Hong Kong Police Force,” the woman said.
“I urge them to put a stop to all acts of violence against Hong Kong citizens, and to honor their professional responsibility to enforce the law,” she said.
“Lastly, I have one small wish, which is that nobody else will be injured or arrested in the course of this movement,” Kai said.
“I call on the government to respond positively to the five demands of the people, and to set up an independent commission of inquiry, and to do everything they can to regain the trust of the citizens of Hong Kong in their administration: Go Hongkongers!”
Hong Kong police are facing mounting criticism for firing tear gas at retreating protesters in confined areas, sometimes aiming tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper ball projectiles at their heads and upper bodies.
Amnesty International has called on international governments to suspend transfers of crowd control equipment to Hong Kong until a full and independent investigation is carried out, and adequate safeguards are put in place.
Police have also been widely criticized for not intervening promptly during bloody attacks by men with links to triad criminal gangs on July 21, and for failing to charge any of those arrested with a violent offense.
Last weekend, a number of officers pulled out their handguns, pointing them at journalists and local residents during an anti-extradition protest in the city’s Kwai Chung district, while a second protester was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet.
Video footage from the scene showed a handful of police officers in riot gear aiming their .38 handguns at a crowd of people that included journalists and civilians clad in regular clothing.
Reported by Man Hoi-tsan for RFA’s Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.
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