[News] 900 anti-WTO protesters arrested in Hong Kong
News at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 19 18:02:54 EST 2005
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URGENT ALERT FROM APWLD IN HONG KONG
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
Chiang Mai 50101 Thailand
Tel: (66) 53 284527, 284856
Fax: (66) 53 280847
Email: apwld<mailto:cholpon at apwld.org>@apwld.org
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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