A woman who lost her eye in a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong and became a symbol of the movement against China accused local police on Friday of intentionally planning to “murder, mutilate and assault their very own citizens.”
Wearing both a mask and an eye patch to conceal her identity, the woman released a video statement accusing Hong Kong’s pro-China chief executive Carrie Lam of failing her citizens.
“The connivance by chief executive Carrie Lam and the Hong Kong Commissioner of Police has opened the door for the Hong Kong Police Force to descend from being a team of disciplined officers who were supposed to uphold the rule of law and protect lives to a gang of criminals with the intent to murder, mutilate and assault their very own citizens,” she said. “You have failed Hong Kong, which has always striven to be the world’s safest and most stable society, and her people.”
The woman, who some reports have identified as a nurse, could be left blind in her right eye after being hit by what appeared to be a beanbag round. However, there is a chance she could regain partial eyesight after an operation.
After incurring her injury, demonstrators waved images of her face covered in blood while lying on the ground, shouting, “An eye for an eye.”
In her statement, she also pleaded with security forces to end their use of brutality against pro-democracy demonstrators.
“As a first-hand victim of police brutality, I am forced to condemn the Hong Kong Police Force,” she said. “I urge them to put a stop to all acts of violence against Hong Kong citizens, and to honor their professional responsibility to enforce the law. Lastly, I have one small wish, which is that nobody else will be injured or arrested in the course of this movement.”
“I call on the government to respond positively to the five demands of the people, and to set up an independent commission of inquiry, and to do everything they can to regain the trust of the citizens of Hong Kong in their administration: Go Hongkongers!” she concluded.
The woman, who uses the pseudonym Tsai Lam-Miu, has come to symbolize the brutality of the police’s response. Police have fired tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbag rounds, and live gunfire at crowds. Last weekend, they deployed two water cannons to disperse protesters for the first time.
The escalation is further evidence of Beijing’s refusal to back down as protests enter their 13th weekend. On Thursday night and Friday afternoon, police arrested at least five high-profile democracy activists on various charges of organizing and participating in “separatist” activities, joining the approximately 900 activists who have been arrested since June.