[News] 900 anti-WTO protesters arrested in Hong Kong

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 19 18:02:54 EST 2005

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Dec 18, 2005 - 13:37pm

The Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) is 
calling for the immediate release of our friends and comrades 
arrested last night.

In the middle of the night, 900 WTO protesters were arrested, among 
them are around 45 Thais and around 20 Indonesians,  5 of which are 
women. Yeni Rosa Damayanti was one of the women leading the Women's 
March Against WTO two days ago. She is now one of the detainees and 
is our sole contact for the Indonesians detained. Yeni has been 
sending SMS messages to APWLD members updating us of their situation. 
The arrested protesters were kept in the outdoor yard of the Kwun 
Tong Court from 2 am to 9 am. They had to suffer throughout the cold 
winter night with no blankets, no food, no water. Women were 
physically abused and stripped naked for body search.

  Then after 9 am the arrested have been  moved by police vehicles to 
undisclosed buildings. There are six detention centres spread all 
over Hong Kong. APWLD members have been going from one detention 
centre to another in search of friends who were arrested.  It is 
uncertain as to whether this non-disclosure is due to a language 
barrier or if it is a deliberate tactic of non-disclosure of 
information. We believe that this is the Hong Kong Government's way 
of weakening the intensifying resistance against the WTO. The 
anti-WTO groups had been planning on holding a large united rally 
today at 2pm. This is likely to be a method of dispersing the 
strength of the international movement against WTO.

As stated in Yeni's text messages one of the conditions of release 
given to Indonesians is that they must show proof that they are 
leaving Hong Kong tomorrow. However due to the randomness of arrests, 
they were not prepared for this and did not carry their travel 
documents with them. Furthermore, friends are unable to bring these 
travel documents to them due to the unknown whereabouts of their 
detention. They are therefore left unable to carry out this 
unreasonable condition for release.

The arrests followed violent police dispersals using tear gas and 
water canons while protesters staged a peaceful sit-in on a road near 
the convention centre where the WTO Ministerial Conference was taking place.

APWLD condemns police brutality against people who are exercising 
their right to assemble and protest.
APWLD demands that all protesters detained are immediately and 
unconditionally released; no charges have been made against the 
detainees so the police has no right to keep the in detention.
We demand that the police provide the full list of arrested and their location

Additional Information: Nine APWLD members from Thailand have 
attempted to bring food and water to the 45 Thai detainees in the 
Kwung Tong Courts (photos below). They were denied access to the 
detainees, however, and have left the food at the courts in hope that 
it will be brought to our Thai friends.  Peasants and NGO workers 
have been separated from each other while in custody, leaving 
peasants vulnerable to ill treatment and denial of rights due to 
their inability to communicate in Chinese or English.

For more information please contact judy 6429 0382 (HK mobile) or 
asha 6237 9548
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
189/3 Changklan Road
Amphoe Muang
Chiang Mai 50101 Thailand
Tel:     (66) 53 284527, 284856
Fax:    (66) 53 280847
Email: apwld<mailto:cholpon at apwld.org>@apwld.org


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