On the “Yuen Long Dark Night” mob attacks on July 21, 2019

Chi Chuen Ray Chan

The Office of Raymond Chan, Member of the Legislative Council, Hong Kong

July 22, 2019

The mob attacks taking place on July 21, 2019 at Yuen Long MTR Station were unprecedented in Hong Kong’s modern history. White-shirted mobsters, believed to be members of local criminal organizations known as the Triads, stormed the station and attacked passengers and journalists indiscriminately. Violence broke out in the station’s vicinity, and throughout the station premises including the concourse, platform, and train compartments on a Sunday night. Besides protesters who came home after participating in a 430,000-person strong march, as well as other ordinary citizens who went about their lives as usual.

Despite many warnings made by local residents about the large number of white-shirted thugs congregating in the area, Hong Kong Police were unable to come to the scene until more than 30 min. later by many eyewitness accounts, calls to the emergency hotline were either unanswered or declined, and the police stations of Yuen Long and nearby Tin Shui Wai closed their doors. As the mobsters entered Yuen Long MTR station, passengers and journalists were struck by fists, kicked, or hit by canes, sticks, and other weapons. Civilians retreated to the platform amid the continued attacks and eventually took refuge in train cars. Mobsters pursued passengers and journalists into train cars. Lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting happened to be on board and he was also attacked. His aide broadcast the attack live via social media. Police came only many had sustained serious injuries and after the thugs had left the station for the vicinity. Despite the horrifying mayhem earlier, no arrests were by the Police made that night and early morning.

Based on eyewitness accounts and all video evidence that have since went viral, all lawmakers from the democratic camp issued a joint statement in Chinese to condemn the senseless violence. In addition, I want to stress the following:

  1. I condemn Hong Kong Police’s inaction, delay, and inadequate response for this incident of mob violence. As we watched many video evidence in disbelief, I have reason to believe that the violence was condoned by Carrie Lam’s administration and the Hong Kong Police Force. In particular, police commanders and officers allowed Triad gang violence to take place, and the perpetrators left the scene with impunity.
  2. Carrie Lam’s administration has lost all credibility in its ability to govern Hong Kong, while Hong Kong people have lost little trust that they still had with the Police. The Police are now seen as collaborators and enablers of the Triad mobsters who rule Yuen Long.
  3. Hong Kong people also lost their freedom from fear, a basic freedom and a fundamental human right which Hong Kong people thought they had always enjoyed till yesterday.
  4. I, along with other democratic lawmakers, call for a general strike. The perpetrators and those who allowed the attacks to happen must be held accountable. They must be brought to justice.
  5. To me, there is no other political and legislative agenda than bringing the perpetrators to justice, and establishing an independent commission of inquiry to probe into accusations of police inaction and earlier incidents of police brutality, such as firing over 30 shots of rubber bullets allegedly without warning in the Western District also on July 21, 2019. I will use every ounce of my being to make them happen.

Find out more with these hashtags on Twitter:
#YuenLongDarkNight #FreedomHK #YuenLong #MTR #HongKong #antiELABhk

Illustration by Badiucao

[Raymond Chan is Hong Kong parliamentarian (2012 –) and Chairperson of People Power (2016 –). He is the first openly gay lawmaker in the Chinese-speaking world, reelected to public office with 45,993 votes. Follow him on Twitter @slowbeat_chan ]

Chi Chuen Ray Chan

Written by

A Progressive Lawmaker, Gay Man, Buddhist, not necessarily in that order

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