'I Had The Courage to Report Rape'

china-tsuenwan-051420.jpg Hong Kong's Tsuen Wan Police Station is shown in an undated photo.
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A woman who made a complaint that she was raped and sexually assaulted by four officers in a Hong Kong police station at the height of last year's pro-democracy protests has defended herself, saying the police have failed to update her on any of the evidence in her case, while the city's chief of police has consistently tried to denigrate her.

Hong Kong Police Commissioner Chris Tang said on May 12, 2020 that the woman, who had an abortion following the alleged assault, was now "wanted" for arrest for making a false statement, though she is no longer in Hong Kong. The woman, identified only as Ms. X, made the following statement through her lawyer:

When I filed a criminal complaint with the police about my rape and sexual assault at the hands of police officers in October 2019, I did so in the hope that the police would treat my complaint with fairness and absolute confidentiality, and respect my privacy and dignity. I reported the incident through appropriate channels and provided detailed explanations to the police regarding the incident. I also answered extremely detailed and quite invasive questions. I allowed the police to take DNA samples from the embryo after my pregnancy termination surgery to help identify at least one of the perpetrators.

I never wanted to make this complaint public, not have I tried to politicize it. I made a public statement on Nov. 11, 2019, with the sole purpose of responding to online rumors that made public some details of the alleged case, and to the police public relations bureau (PPRB), which had selectively disclosed details of the investigation and made a negative comment on the evidence. It is my belief that any objective bystander would see these actions as an intentional attempt to publicly discredit me.

Before the PPRB disclosed details of the case and made their comment, the police officers who should have been investigating my complaint were instead applying for a search warrant on Nov. 4, 2019 to seize my private medical records and CCTV footage from the private clinic [I attended after the attack]. This happened without my knowledge and consent, and was a serious violation of my human rights and privacy.

Fortunately, my doctor notified me in time, and the court canceled the search warrant after learning about the situation from my lawyer.

When I learned from media reports on Jan. 16, 2020 that Commissioner of Police [Chris Tang] had alleged publicly that my complaint was fake news and that I was misleading the police, or making false allegations, I felt extremely sad. I believe that any objective bystander would see the actions of the police commissioner as a public smear campaign that could affect the chances of a successful prosecution.

Through my lawyer, I continually asked the police to provide me with updates about the progress and details of the investigation. This is my right, as enshrined in the charter for victims of crime. I also requested updates because I suspected that the police had downgraded my complaint. I have never been given any updates about the investigation, which means that I cannot refute any claim that my complaint is inconsistent with the evidence.

On April 6, 2020, the Department of Justice informed my lawyer that the police would not be continuing with the investigation and claimed that my complaint was inconsistent with the evidence they obtained. But they didn't provide details of the evidence they had obtained, despite a request from my lawyer, so I was unable to convince the Attorney General that my statement was true, nor did I have the opportunity to refute the claim that my statement was inconsistent with the other evidence.

[On May 12, 2020], I learned from media reports that the Commissioner of Police had publicly stated that I would face arrest for giving a false statement to police. He once again chose to make these claims publicly, and any objective observer would conclude that his actions were intentionally derogatory towards me.

Seven months ago, I had the courage to report rape and sexual assault by unidentified police officers at Tsuen Wan police station. I hoped then that my complaint would be investigated in a fair and absolutely confidential manner while respecting my privacy and dignity. But this was not to be.

Editor's note: Ms. X's identity remains protected under a Nov. 5, 2019 court order.

Reported by RFA's Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.


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