Presence of HK Police in Canada Will Trigger Victims’ ‘Painful Memories’ of Police Brutality: Democracy Group

Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers to reportedly attend sports game in Winnipeg Amid reports of hundreds of Hong Kong police officers coming to Canada to participate in a sports game, a democracy group is raising concerns that their presence will rekindle “painful memories” for many Hong Kong diasporas who were victims of police brutality. The Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement (VSSDM), a non-for-profit created pursuant to China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, said they find it “highly inappropriate” for the Hong Kong Police Force to be allowed to participate in the World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) that is set to run from July 28 to Aug. 6 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “Over the last four years, Hong Kong police have brutally attacked peaceful demonstration participants in Hong Kong, wrongfully arrested protesters, and violated their basic human rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” VSSDM Chair Mabel Tung told The Epoch Times in an email statement. “Moreover, many Hongkongers have been exiled to Canada to escape human rights abusers. The presence of Hong Kong police may trigger painful memories of violent attacks for some protestors, who may still be afraid to face any authority figures in uniform, such as our police in Canada.” Ms. Tung was referring to the police brutality many experienced during the massive pro-democracy protests in the region in 2019 and continue to face after the introduction of the Hong Kong national security law the following year. The Hong Kong police came under criticism for their handling of the city’s pro-democracy movements in 2019. Accusations of brutality and excessive use of force were directed at the police during large-scale demonstrations and clashes with protesters. Incidents of alleged violence, tear gas deployment in crowded areas, and accusations of excessive force during arrests drew international attention and condemnation. Pro-democracy protesters arrested by police during a clash at a demonstration in Wan Chai district in Hong Kong on Oct. 6, 2019. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images) Census data shows that tens of thousands of Hongkongers have since moved overseas. Countries including Canada have expanded pathways for residents from the city. Targeting Activists More recently, Beijing’s rubber-stamp authority in Hong Kong has increasingly been using the national security law to target critics and activists who oppose the rule of the communist regime. In early July, Hong Kong police issued arrest warrants for eight democracy activists who have fled the region, along with a HK$1 million reward ($170,000) for information on their current whereabouts in countries including the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. The eight activists were accused of offences under the National Security Law, including “incitement to secession,” “subversion,” “incitement to subversion,” and “collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security,” according to a press release from the Hong Kong National Security Department. The U.S. State Department condemned the Hong Kong Police Force’s (HKPF) issuance of the arrest warrants for the eight democracy activists in a statement issued on July 3, adding that imposing extraterritorial application to the national security law sets a “dangerous precedent that threatens the human rights and fundamental freedoms of people all over the world.” Britain and Australia have also struck back at the regime for targeting the eight activists. Charlotte MacLeod, a spokesperson with Global Affairs Canada (GAC), previously told The Epoch Times that the federal department is “gravely concerned” about the HKPF’s arrest warrants. Despite these international condemnations, the Hong Kong police continued to arrest a number of individuals, accusing them of supporting overseas dissidents and of advocating for Hong Kong’s independence from China. Photos of eight activists who have been issued arrest warrants over national security are displayed during a press conference in Hong Kong on July 3, 2023. (Joyce Zhou/Reuters) In light of these events, GAC reiterated its call on both the Hong Kong and Chinese central authorities to “respect and uphold rights and freedoms guaranteed under Hong Kong’s Basic Law” in response to the Hong Kong police’s participation in the WPFG in Winnipeg. “We reiterate that the Hong Kong authorities have no jurisdiction in applying the law within our borders. Canada strongly opposes any attempt to intimidate or silence anyone residing in Canada,” Ms. MacLeod said in an email statement on July 28. The RCMP echoed GAC’s statement, saying that it takes threats to the security of individuals living in Canada “very seriously” and that it is aware of foreign states potentially targeting certain communities or individuals within Canada with intimidation or harm. It urged victims to make use of the support mechanisms to report incidents of foreign inte

Presence of HK Police in Canada Will Trigger Victims’ ‘Painful Memories’ of Police Brutality: Democracy Group

Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers to reportedly attend sports game in Winnipeg

Amid reports of hundreds of Hong Kong police officers coming to Canada to participate in a sports game, a democracy group is raising concerns that their presence will rekindle “painful memories” for many Hong Kong diasporas who were victims of police brutality.

The Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement (VSSDM), a non-for-profit created pursuant to China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, said they find it “highly inappropriate” for the Hong Kong Police Force to be allowed to participate in the World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) that is set to run from July 28 to Aug. 6 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“Over the last four years, Hong Kong police have brutally attacked peaceful demonstration participants in Hong Kong, wrongfully arrested protesters, and violated their basic human rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” VSSDM Chair Mabel Tung told The Epoch Times in an email statement.

“Moreover, many Hongkongers have been exiled to Canada to escape human rights abusers. The presence of Hong Kong police may trigger painful memories of violent attacks for some protestors, who may still be afraid to face any authority figures in uniform, such as our police in Canada.”

Ms. Tung was referring to the police brutality many experienced during the massive pro-democracy protests in the region in 2019 and continue to face after the introduction of the Hong Kong national security law the following year.

The Hong Kong police came under criticism for their handling of the city’s pro-democracy movements in 2019. Accusations of brutality and excessive use of force were directed at the police during large-scale demonstrations and clashes with protesters. Incidents of alleged violence, tear gas deployment in crowded areas, and accusations of excessive force during arrests drew international attention and condemnation.

Epoch Times Photo
Pro-democracy protesters arrested by police during a clash at a demonstration in Wan Chai district in Hong Kong on Oct. 6, 2019. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Census data shows that tens of thousands of Hongkongers have since moved overseas. Countries including Canada have expanded pathways for residents from the city.

Targeting Activists

More recently, Beijing’s rubber-stamp authority in Hong Kong has increasingly been using the national security law to target critics and activists who oppose the rule of the communist regime. In early July, Hong Kong police issued arrest warrants for eight democracy activists who have fled the region, along with a HK$1 million reward ($170,000) for information on their current whereabouts in countries including the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

The eight activists were accused of offences under the National Security Law, including “incitement to secession,” “subversion,” “incitement to subversion,” and “collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security,” according to a press release from the Hong Kong National Security Department.

The U.S. State Department condemned the Hong Kong Police Force’s (HKPF) issuance of the arrest warrants for the eight democracy activists in a statement issued on July 3, adding that imposing extraterritorial application to the national security law sets a “dangerous precedent that threatens the human rights and fundamental freedoms of people all over the world.” Britain and Australia have also struck back at the regime for targeting the eight activists.

Charlotte MacLeod, a spokesperson with Global Affairs Canada (GAC), previously told The Epoch Times that the federal department is “gravely concerned” about the HKPF’s arrest warrants.

Despite these international condemnations, the Hong Kong police continued to arrest a number of individuals, accusing them of supporting overseas dissidents and of advocating for Hong Kong’s independence from China.

Eight activists
Photos of eight activists who have been issued arrest warrants over national security are displayed during a press conference in Hong Kong on July 3, 2023. (Joyce Zhou/Reuters)

In light of these events, GAC reiterated its call on both the Hong Kong and Chinese central authorities to “respect and uphold rights and freedoms guaranteed under Hong Kong’s Basic Law” in response to the Hong Kong police’s participation in the WPFG in Winnipeg.

“We reiterate that the Hong Kong authorities have no jurisdiction in applying the law within our borders. Canada strongly opposes any attempt to intimidate or silence anyone residing in Canada,” Ms. MacLeod said in an email statement on July 28.

The RCMP echoed GAC’s statement, saying that it takes threats to the security of individuals living in Canada “very seriously” and that it is aware of foreign states potentially targeting certain communities or individuals within Canada with intimidation or harm. It urged victims to make use of the support mechanisms to report incidents of foreign interference or state-backed harassment and intimidation.

Additionally, Ms. Tung also urged the WPFG organizers to “do the right thing and not allow human rights abusers to compete in the game.”

The Epoch Times reached out to WPFG organizers for comment but didn’t hear back.

According to a July 26 Twitter post, the WPFG said they have already met with some individuals from Hong Kong.

The WPFG is an Olympic-style biennial sporting competition with athletes representing law enforcement, firefighters, and police officers from more than 50 countries across the world. The organizers said on the WPFG’s website that more than 8,500 participants are expected to attend this year’s event.