Pro-democracy activists and lawmakers in Hong Kong have accused the police of standing by as men dressed in white attacked commuters and protesters, leaving 45 people hospitalised, including one who is critically injured. Video footage showed dozens of men, mostly in masks, storming a mass transit station in Yuen Long late on Sunday, chasing passengers and beating them with sticks. Among those hurt in the attack were demonstrators returning from a large anti-government rally, as well as a pregnant woman and a woman holding a child, according to witnesses.
The footage, which emerged after an anti-government march by hundreds of thousands of people, caused widespread anger and condemnation as protesters and critics accused pro-Beijing officials of hiring thugs to intimidate protesters – a charge that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam vehemently denied in a briefing Monday afternoon.
“Is Hong Kong now allowing triads to do what they want, beating up people on the street with weapons?” the Democratic party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who was among the injured, asked reporters.