CHINA A close look at black terror and rumors that shrouded Hong Kong for months


A close look at black terror and rumors that shrouded Hong Kong for months

Global Times

02:41, December 10, 2019


Rioters occupy the streets in a protest in front of the Hong Kong Police Headquarters on August 18, 2019. (Photo: GT)

Editor's Note: 

In the six-month of chaos in Hong Kong, rioters have spread a lot of rumors trying to mislead the international community. The Global Times compiled some of these rumors and held them to scrutiny with a timeline of major events in the unrelenting 2019 riots that have paralyzed Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong police were blamed for the death of 15-year-old Chan Yin-lam whose naked body was found floating in the sea off Yau Tong on September 22. 

Some posts even claimed she was raped and killed by the Hong Kong police, calling for strong condemnation of "police brutality." Some protesters and supporters of the anti-government movement called it a "humanitarian crisis."

After an investigation, the Hong Kong police found that Chan's death was a suicide and she had not been arrested at anti-government protests. However, some protesters who ignored the facts and evidence shown by surveillance camera footage continued spreading rumors regarding the girl's death. 

Chan's mother, surnamed Ho, said in an interview with Hong Kong broadcaster TVB that she wanted to clarify that her daughter took her own life and was not killed by anyone else. 

Chan's mother also denied her daughter's death is related to the latest protests and asked the public not to speculate on this tragedy. 


Rioters claimed that women protesters were assaulted and gang raped by police officers while being detained at the San Uk Ling Holding Center. On September 27, protesters assembled at Edinburgh Place to voice support for detainees at the center under the pretext of mistreatment by police officers. 


Cheung Po-yuet, Chief Inspector of Family Conflict and Sexual Violence Policy Unit at the Hong Kong Police Force, rebutted those allegations in October, saying that police have not received any complaint of sexual assault related to the San Uk Ling Holding Centre or Kwai Chung Police Station. The police also appealed to any "victim" to provide concrete evidence so that police can launch a transparent fact-finding investigation as soon as possible. However, no one came forward to the police to report any specific case. During a dialogue held at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on the night of October 10, a student claimed that, after being arrested, she was sexually assaulted by police officers while being detained at the San Uk Ling Holding Center. She later changed her story and said it took place at  the Kwai Chung Police Station. Such contradictory claims cast doubt over the authenticity of her allegations. 


Rumors claimed a police officer chased and pushed Alex Chow Tsz-lok, a student at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), causing him to fall from third to the second floor of Sheung Tak Estate car park on November 4. Chow later died after suffering a severe brain injury. Protesters also blamed the police for delaying an emergency medical response for 20 minutes. 


According to the released footage, Chow was wandering alone in a car park. The police also provided a detailed timeline about what happened before and after Chow's fall. Chow showed up in a black shirt at the car park during a clash between rioting protesters and police nearby, and unveiled messages confirm that he acted as a sentinel using his Parkour skills to report police actions. There was a testimony from Chow's friend that provides a clue to when Chow lost contact with his friends. However, as footage showed during this moment, there was no police present at the scene. The police came to the car park before Chow arrived and later came after he fell from the building, according to the footage. 

The ambulance sent to treat Chow was not delayed due to the police. It was repeatedly blocked by roadblocks set by black-clad rioters that night. Rioters set up bricks and road barricades as a way to hinder police. The ambulance had to make several detours to arrive at the scene. 


A woman sustained a serious eye injury during an anti-government protest on August 11 at Tsim Sha Tsui. Protesters blamed police for shooting her in the eye with a beanbag round, making her an icon for the fight against so-called "police brutality." 


The police deny blame for the woman's eye injury and clarified after the incident that there is no evidence that shows the cause of this incident was related to the police. Some officials also suggested the woman might have been hit by a projectile fired by rioters. However, the woman did not report the incident to police, and the Hong Kong police had to apply for a search warrant to access her medical record to investigate the cause of the injury. A police lawyer has accused the woman of impeding the investigation by seeking to access the warrants police used to obtain her medical records. The cause of her injury is still unknown.

Riot's damage to Hong Kong

In the months-long unrest in Hong Kong, the police have arrested 5,890 for illegal assembly and riots, including 1,377 related to violent actions at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, according to Hong Kong police.

At least 483 Hong Kong police officers have been hurt in the past months, 12 of them since November 19 alone.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Regional Government (HKSARG) raised its CPI to 2.9 percent.

On November 15, the HKSARG announced GDP in the region will drop by 1.3 percent compared with 2018.

In the third quarter of 2019, Hong Kong's GDP saw a decline of 3.2 percent compared with the previous quarter and suffered a year-on-year decrease of 2.9 percent.

Bernard Aw, the principal economist at IHS Markit, a London-based global information provider, pointed out that unless a remarkable recovery occurred in the fourth quarter, Hong Kong's GDP will decrease by 5 percent.

According to the HKSARG, retail sales decreased by 24.3 percent in October compared with the same period in 2018.

Tourists in Hong Kong decreased by 43.7 percent in October compared with the same period in 2018.

Paul Chan Mo-po, Financial Secretary of HKSARG, said on December 2 that the regional government will see its first financial deficit by March 2020 in 15 years.

Hotel occupancy remains 60 percent under capacity due to the impact of the chaos in Hong Kong.

The unemployment rate in the Hong Kong catering industry increased to 6.1 percent.

Timeline of the chaos in Hong Kong

June 9: Rioters took to the street in Hong Kong to protest against a proposed law that would have allowed extraditions to the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

June 12: Demonstrations happened near the Legislative Council office, and turned into a riot that injured almost 80.

June 16: A large-scale march in Hong Kong took place.

July 1: Rioters broke in the legislative council on the day marking the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, and vandalized the facilities there.

July 13: A protest in Sheung Shui escalated into violence with multiple police officers hurt.

July 14: Rioters escalated their violence, and clashes happened between police and rioters in Sha Tin, with 22 admitted to hospital.

July 21: Rioters besieged the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR and defaced the national emblem with black paint at the gate of the liaison office.

July 22: Hong Kong police found TATP, a dangerous explosive, at a building in Tsuen Wan District, arresting 3 suspects. 

July 27: The rioters marched on the main roads in Yuen Long, and surrounded and assaulted the Yuen Long police station.

Aug 5: Rioters attempted to bring the city to a halt by staging a general strike, which disrupted more than 200 flights. The rioters also occupied shopping malls and blocked roads and rail lines in seven districts.

Aug 11: A woman protester was injured in the eye and brought a false accusation against the police.

Aug 13: Rioters kidnapped and assaulted Global Times reporter Fu Guohao at the Hong Kong airport. Rioters raised the stakes, shutting down air traffic with a days-long demonstration at Hong Kong airport, one of the world's busiest.

Aug 31: Rioters came back on the fifth anniversary of China's 2014 proposal on elections in Hong Kong SAR.

Sept 11: Rioters launched violent protests in multiple shopping malls.

Oct 4: Rioters launched a city-wide march with violence against the new anti-mask law that would take effect on October 5.

Nov 11: Rioters launched a city-wide strike, and tried to force people to go on strike by blocking roads in dangerous means. They ambushed the police and threw gasoline bombs to a school bus, scaring the children on the bus and prompting many parents in Hong Kong to consider moving their children elsewhere.

 Nov 11-28: Rioters occupied several universities, blocking entry to the campuses, vandalizing the facilities and making weapons with dangerous materials.

Dec 8: Rioters set fire at the entrance of the High Court and the Court of Final Appeal during an anti-government protest.

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue