Hong Kong police charge two men in attack on pro-democracy protesters at train station

Hong Kong police charge two men in attack on pro-democracy protesters at train station

Hong Kong police on Thursday announced that two men have been charged with rioting in connection with a high-profile attack on protesters in a train station that sparked criticism of local authorities over their failure to prevent the violence.

John Tse, the chief superintendent of the Police Public Relations Branch, said the investigation into last month's incident was ongoing and did not discuss the possibility of additional charges, according to The New York Times.

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“I hope the police could also catch all of them,” Lam Cheuk-ting, a lawmaker who was injured in the attack, told the Times. “There were more than a hundred people in Yuen long that night. It must not be the end.”

The attack, which occurred in and near the Yuen Long train station in the northwestern part of Hong Kong, drew international headlines after dozens of people were injured and protesters clashed with police.

The police response was highly criticized after officers failed to protect the protesters as a group of over 100 men hit people with sticks and metal bars. No suspects were arrested in the hours following the attack, and officials claimed none of the men were seen with weapons. 

Authorities later arrested more than 20 people, including some with mob ties, and ultimately apologized for their response.

Hong Kong, an autonomous city, has been grappling with the months-long protest over a now-suspended bill that would allow some citizens to be extradited to mainland China. The demonstrations have continued even after the bill was pulled, with protesters calling for Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s resignation and an independent investigation into alleged police brutality. 

The protesters have continued to clash with local authorities, who have fired over 1,800 canisters of tear gas since early June, according to a New York Times investigation.