Officials in Hong Kong accused imprisoned pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong on Tuesday of smuggling drugs in his stomach after finding an alleged “foreign object” through an X-ray.
In a letter dated November 25 but published on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Wong revealed that he was forced into solitary confinement after an X-ray scan detected a “foreign object” in his stomach which authorities suspected could be drugs or valuable objects.
During waiting for the senior officer, I felt very disturbed and kept wondering why they moved me to solitary confinement. In the end, the senior provided a highly unexpected reason—there were “foreign objects” in my stomach, the officer said, they could be drugs, rings or gold and silver objects. Therefore, I needed to be in solitary confinement for several days until they found out what the “foreign objects” were.I have taken X-rays for a few times, but nothing happened before, I was completely confused about the X-rays result. I have never had anything to do with drugs, and all food I had before remand were normal food. Moreover, under the current policy, the prison administration does not allow inmates to see their X-rays, so there is no way to verify the results.
The 24-year-old then went into detail about an experience closely fitting the legal definition of torture. According to Wong, this included officers prohibiting him from leaving his cell for even an hour’s exercise and leaving the lights on 24 hours a day.
As the officers suspected I possess drugs in my body, the treatment was even worse than normal solitary confinement. Generally speaking, persons in remand can spend their time in the activity room with three to forty other inmates in the daytime and return to their five-personal cell at night. However, what happened to me was, apart from visiting by my friends and relatives and taking a shower, I basically could not leave the single cell. I was even not allowed to have one hour of outdoor activity. Since the isolation was based on the presumption of possession of drugs, correctional officers would check my blood pressure and oxygen saturation every four hours even at midnight. The light in the cell was also kept turning on 24 hours a day, so I needed to use my face mask as the blindfold to barely put myself to sleep.
Under the new legislation, essentially all forms of active political opposition are now illegal, effectively reducing the region’s political freedoms to the same level of communist China. Punishment for crimes such as “secession,” “terrorism,” “foreign interference,” and “subversion of state power” all carry sentences of up to ten years in prison.
The three dissidents will return to court tomorrow for sentencing after all entering guilty pleas. If convicted, it will be Wong’s fourth stint in prison since his rise to prominence during the Umbrella Movement of 2014.