Hong Kong police surrounded the Polytechnic University for several days and stormed into the campus. During this turmoil, a photo was posted on the Internet showing an anti-riot officer armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle aiming at the campus from a distance. The photograph was taken by a staff member from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The person who took the photo has been arrested for obstructing police from performing their duties.
On the evening of the 17th, several thousand Hong Kong police sealed off key roads and walkways to the Polytechnic University campus, including escape routes. They used armored cars, water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets to break through barriers put up by the protesters. The police were masked, armed with live ammunition, and were heard screaming: “I want to repeat June 4th” (in reference to the massacre in Tiananmen Square in 1989).
At about 2 a.m. on the 18th, a large number of people went to the Polytechnic University to support the students holed up inside the campus. However, they were intercepted by the police and some reporters were arrested. The police fired tear gas, water cannons, and even used an anti-riot sound device. Around 3 a.m., a police officer was seen firing live rounds from inside an ambulance.
At 5 a.m., the police dashed into the campus beating people with batons as they held them on the ground and arrested those who resisted. The wounded and medical personnel were also arrested. The live video shows many of the wounded being beaten up and ending up with head injuries. The police can also be seen dragging injured protesters while kicking them and stepping on their heads.
For the past few days, the protesters have tried to escape several times but were forced to retreat back into the campus and rounded up by the police with high-intensity fire.
In the process, the police also dispatched a variety of highly lethal weapons, such as sonic weapons, water cannons, shock bombs, and even AR-15 semi-automatic rifles that turned the campus into a battlefield.
In addition, during the siege operations, the police not only did not leave any escape routes for the students, they even threatened the students to either “surrender and be arrested” or “be suppressed and arrested.”
According to the Hong Kong police, they fired 1,458 tear gas canisters, 1,391 rubber bullets, 325 rounds of beanbags, and 265 rounds of sponge grenades in only one day on the 18th. From the 17th to the 18th, more than 400 people were arrested on the campus and more than 70 injured people “surrendered” for help. On the afternoon of the 19th, the police announced that 1,100 people were arrested during the operations.
Subsequently, a photo was posted on the Internet showing a Police Tactical Unit officer holding an AR-15 assault rifle hiding in the History Museum.
The Hong Kong police said that they were on an ambush operation and the photo affected their mission, forcing them to shift their position. They went on to say that since they were not operating on the road at that time, there was a greater need for confidentiality, so they arrested the 43-year-old man who took the photo for “obstructing police from performing their duties.”
It has been reported that the man who took the photo has been identified as a staff member of the Leisure and Cultural Affairs Department. The photo was taken while he was on duty at the museum.
Translated by Chua BC