Legal action will be taken against the police and those who attacked protesters at Yuen Long MTR station on Sunday.
Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who was injured in Sunday night’s attack, said a legal team was helping injured citizens launch legal action against the police and attackers, as well as the rail operator.
Six people came forward on Wednesday and recounted their stories about the attack, saying they were left alone to face more than 100 thugs dressed in white and wielding steel poles and rattan canes who brutally assaulted commuters at the station.
Earlier reports said the white-clad men targetted anti-extradition bill protesters, who usually dress in black, after a rally in Hong Kong, but the men also injured civilians, leaving 45 hospitalized.
Of the six witnesses aged between 14 and 58, only one had attended that day’s rally. One of the victims said she and her husband were returning home after having dinner in Tsuen Wan.
The couple were on the train and became stuck at Yuen Long Station when the attacks happened.
The wife, in tears as she recounted the attack, described how other passengers tried to protect the couple as they were both wearing black. “All of us are innocent, some of them were just children and they were all crying before the white-clad men rushed into the carriage,” he said.
She added that the train’s public address system asked them to leave the carriage. She said she tried to press the emergency button but no one responded.
Kwok, a father of two sons aged 14 and 10, said they took the train after visiting a friend in Ma Wan. He saw more than 100 men dressed in white attacking young people, passengers and civilians on the concourse and in the carriages with baseball bats and rattan canes.
During the 30-minute attack, Kwok said he did not see any police come to help the passengers. “The floor was bloody, there were many broken umbrellas and sticks. It was chaos,” Kwok said.
His 14-year-old son said: “I have learned from school that Hong Kong has law, but after this incident, I want to ask, where is the law?” He added that he no longer believed the police.
The two families said they were traumatized by the attacks but were relatively unscathed. However, another two among the six who came forward were not as lucky.
An injured male passenger said he had been heading to Yuen Long to have drinks with friends. He had swapped his black T-shirt for a white one after being warned inside the station. However, he was chased by the mob and ran into the train, but was hit on the back of the head while trying to help a fellow passenger escape.
The man also said that not a single police officer was present at the time. “Some people begged for mercy, some were crying, some girls were bleeding from their heads,” he said. “The whole car smelled of blood.”
Another man was assaulted while he was returning to his home in Yuen Long after attending the protest. He was the only one of the six witnesses who had joined the protest that day.
The man asked: “I had to be beaten because I had attended a march?”
The six victims also said they were angry with comments made by pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu and other pro-establishment lawmakers, claiming all those on the train were protesters.
“We were just passengers, normal citizens, on the way back home,” he said. He was also injured in the attack and said he had been in touch with lawyers over the matter.
Some of the victims said they might seek damages for their injuries from the attackers, the MTR Corp and the police force.
Saturday’s rally has been planned to start at the Yuen Long police station and end at the Yuen Long MTR Station, the site of the violent attack.
Max Chung, who made the application for the rally on behalf of a group of people online, said the event would go ahead regardless of whether the police granted the letter of no objection required for the assembly to be legal. The organizers said the rally would be peaceful as the route of the march would not go through any villages.
The South China Morning Post quoted sources saying that the police force was unlikely to give the green light for the rally to go ahead. District councilors were worried there would be clashes between protesters and villagers on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a rural leader in Yuen Long asked police to reject permission for the march.
The Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee sent a letter to police, accusing the march organizer of having a bad record in holding a peaceful demonstration. They also warned the force “will bear all consequences” if the march was allowed to go ahead.