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Detained activist to file police human rights abuse complaint to UNHRC

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Jason Chao, one of the activists taken away by police last Thursday in a petition outside Macau Tower where Wu Bangguo, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, was about to visit, told the Times he was actually not joining the petition as the Judiciary Police (PJ) claimed, instead he was just filming the protest. He said he would pursue the issue to hold the police accountable for treating him like a criminal, and would also seek answers as to why they broke his video camera. He said he is going to take the issue to United Nations’ Human Rights Commission.

MDT - Why did the police take you and other petitioners away?
JC - Actually I was not petitioning there, I didn’t hand out the petition leaflets as the police alleged. Instead I was only filming the protest, but was stopped by the officers who checked my ID and later on they pushed me and knocked me down to the floor, before carrying me away from the site into a car. My video camera was broken in the process.

MDT - What happened after police officers carried you and other activists into their vehicle?
JC - They took us to the police station in Taipa. I don’t know what happened to the other activists but I was put into solitary confinement like a prisoner.

MDT - Did they handcuff you?
JC – No, they didn’t, but they treated me like a prisoner.

You can see Macau is becoming more similar to the mainland in cracking down on the opposition

- Jason Chao, New Macau Association President

MDT - Did they give you a reason for detaining you?
JC - No, they didn’t. I asked the officer for the reason and asked if they are charging me for any crime, but the officer said: “you have to ask my supervisor.” They said they were enforcing security measures to ensure the safety of visiting national leaders, but I said I was just filming in public places, where tourists are coming and going freely, which means the place is not closed to the public. Obviously they are abusing the Code of Criminal Procedure that allows the police to take us into custody for less than six hours. This is an abuse of our human rights.
MDT - Did they treat you with violence or cause you any injury?
JC – No, they didn’t use force against me at the station, but treated us like prisoners. This included taking our mug-shots, along with our finger and palm prints. In addition, they deleted the recorded material stored in my video camera. I asked them if they did anything to my camera and they said no, but then I found my information stored inside was all gone. This is so similar to mainland police’s treatment of dissidents. You can see Macau is becoming more similar to the mainland in cracking down on the opposition.

MDT - Are you planning any follow-up actions?
JC - Yes. We’ll hold a press conference next week to brief the media on the issue. Personally I would like to file a claim against the police in breaking my camera and deleting the recording stored inside. I’m now trying to recover the recording through electronic restoration techniques. Moreover, the United Nations’ agency will hold a meeting next month in Geneva to review Macau’s human rights conditions. I’m now filing the information on this issue to the agency for urgent consideration and reference. 

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Responsible Right of Expression — In the interest of freedom of expression, coupled with a true sense of responsibility to encourage community dialogue, the Macau Daily Times offers its readers the opportunity to express their opinions on new-related matters through this website. All opinions are welcome. However, we reserve the right to remove comments that are deemed to be obscene, or are merely insults written under the cloak of anonymity. MDT