Police say they have started an investigation into the shooting of a woman who suffered a serious eye injury during a protest in Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday.
They have urged the patient to contact them to assist their inquiries – but she is said to have turned down the invitation, allegedly saying she does not trust the police.
The injured woman was shot in the face by a suspected bean-bag round outside Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station on Sunday when clashes erupted between anti-extradition bill protesters and police.
Doctors have said the woman faces the prospect of losing her right eye.
There have been conflicting claims online over how the woman got hurt with some photos on social media and claims that she was hurt by a metal ball fired by protesters.
But new footage of the incident appears to show a pellet-filled-bean bag lodged inside the woman’s goggles. That suggests she was shot by a police officer.
Steve Li, a police senior superintendent from the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, told the regular police press briefing on Tuesday it was unclear what caused the woman’s injuries.
He said a formal investigation has been initiated, and detectives had contacted the hospital to ask the woman to give a statement, adding that videos of the incident would have to be examined to find out exactly what had happened.
Li called on the woman to report the case to the police and provide a medical report, saying that she would not be arrested before she can give a statement.
He also said the force would look into the use of the weapons during the clearance operation on the day and it would not be limited to the use of bean-bag rounds.
Meanwhile, an anonymous person claiming to be “a best friend of girl with ruptured eye” posted an article on LIHKG, a local Reddit-like forum, saying the woman and her family did not trust the police.
The article claimed the woman appealed anyone who witnessed how she got injured not to send evidence to the police or any other person. The victim would ask for evidence at an appropriate time and it would be handled by lawyers in a fair and open way.
The victim is understood to work as a nurse at veterinary clinic, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Anti-extradition protesters have been using the woman’s injury to highlight what they say is unnecessary police violence.
Many people at protests over the last two days have donned bloody bandages over their eyes, and chanted “an eye for an eye” to highlight the woman’s case.
On Wednesday, more than 100 medical staff from Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai and Tang Siu Kin Hospital staged a demonstration against what they called an abuse of force by police in regard to the woman’s case.
The demonstration came after 13 public hospitals held rallies on Tuesday.
The demonstrators also accused the police of stopping people from getting treatment at protest sites, which they say contravenes humanitarian laws under the Geneva Convention.
Dr Wilson Cheng, who spoke on behalf of a group of medical professionals at the two hospitals, accused the police of committing war crimes by intentionally stopping rescue work at protest sites and arresting first-aid workers with “false accusations”.
Meanwhile, a group of around 30 people dressed in red T-shirts appeared at Princess Margaret Hospital around noon on Wednesday, hoping to send flowers and a basket of fruit one of two ‘undercover spies’ beaten at the airport on Tuesday night.
The man, who Beijing claims is a journalist for the Global Times, was bashed by anti-extradition bill protesters at the airport before people intervened to get him to an ambulance, the Standnews reported.
The red t-shirt mob held placards saying “Hong Kong-Tianjin Club”. However, they also scolded medical staff who joined the sit-in protest and confronted security guards at the hospital.