Some 30,000 people participated in a rally in Chater Garden, Hong Kong, on Wednesday night, Aug. 28, to condemn alleged sexual harassment by police.
30,000 gathered for the #MeToo rally tonight in Central, Hong Kong, per organisers. An overflowing Chater Garden, surrounded by gleaming towers, colonial architecture, & tram tracks, is always a sight to behold.
(Pics: Benjamin Yuen/United Social Press) pic.twitter.com/DOc8DFKZf4
— Mary Hui (@maryhui) August 28, 2019
Protesters held posters that read in English, “Stop Hong Kong police’s use of sexual violence.”
Another placard, with a bra and panties draped over it, conveyed the message, “I don’t want police taking all my clothes, including my bra.”
The rally was organized after claims from some protesters last week that they were inappropriately treated by police officers.
Everyone tonight to support Hong Kong women! ! Investigate police sexual violence! ! Defend the dignity of Hong Kong people! !
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: Chater Garden#MeToo #HongKongProtesters pic.twitter.com/F5Eanzaprf
— Cryana Chan (@cryana_hker) August 28, 2019
Organizers of the rally stated that police are using different tactics to embarrass female protesters as a way to deter them from participating in the street rallies.
One female protester Ruby Auyeung said Hong Kong police brutality “has extended to another level.”
“The theme for tonight is respecting,” said Auyeung, alleging that the police are violating the female rights of the protesters.
A female protester said she was strip-searched unnecessarily at a police station.
In a separate instance, video footage showed a female protester with her skirt flipped upward as she was being carried away by police officers in Tin Shui Wai.
A male protester Ringo Chu said, “Hong Kong people need to come out to protest against anything harming female dignity.”
“We hope that any woman who has ever experienced sexual violence by police should stand up for herself,” continued Chu.
Protesters held up their shining smartphones as they assembled to condemn alleged sexual harassment of a detained demonstrator at a Hong Kong police station.
Hong Kong police have denied any misconduct in the cited cases.
Speaking at a police news conference, officer Chik Hsia-yu said they checked their records and logbooks and confirmed that, at that time, “The level of custody search was not a total removal search.”
Chik stated that police officers did not use any objects to point at or pat any part of her body during the body search.
“We didn’t ask her to open her legs and ask her to squat and stand repeatedly,” said Chik, who added, “This is because our police officers did not think it was necessary.”
The Wednesday night rally ended peacefully. While dispersing, protesters chanted, “See you in Chater Garden on August 31st”—referring to a rally the Hong Kong Civil Human Rights Front has organized for that day.