Hundreds of people gathered in Hong Kong, many wearing bras or waving lingerie, to protest a woman being jailed for assaulting a police officer with her breast.
The group of around 200 demonstrators gathered outside police headquarters in Wan Chai, with many shouting “breasts are not weapons!”
Last week, 30-year-old Ng Lai-ying was sentenced to three-and-a-half months in prison for pushing against an officer with her breast after he allegedly assaulted her at a chaotic protest against cross-border traders in March.
Magistrate Michael Chan Pik-kiu rejected Lai-ying’s claim that the inspector had molested her and is actually quoted as saying, “You used your female identity to trump up the allegation that the officer had molested you. This is a malicious act.”
Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Luk Kit-ling, a spokesperson for the demonstrators, said:
It is very shocking and regrettable that a woman’s allegation that she has been molested is turned into her causing chaos. It would deter women from taking part in social movements and deprive them of the right to participate in political activities.
The protesters explained that they had decided to wear bras during the protest to show how “ridiculous” the sentence was, with one demonstrator reportedly telling the crowd, “We better watch out as one day police might accuse us of attacking with our penis or buttock”.
Speaking to AFP, Ng Cheuk-ling, an activist from Hong Kong Women’s Coalition on Equal Opportunities, added:
The ruling is absurd. How can breasts be a weapon? We are angry but we also fear that this precedent exploits women’s rights to take part in protests. Police must review their guidelines to handle female protesters.