Andrew Chiu 35 years old District Councilor、Convener of the Power for Democracy
On November 3rd, 2019, Hong Kong citizens formed human chains in numerous large shopping malls to protest the recent police crackdown. Police broke into those shopping malls and used pepper spray to attack the general public. One of the bloodiest scenes took place in Cityplaza Mall in TaiKoo. At 7 pm, just outside the shopping mall, a man with a Mandarin accent slashed people with a knife because of his difference in political views. Several people were bathed in blood. When Andrew Chiu, a local district councilor, tried to mediate, his left ear got bitten off by the attacker.
“I will never forget the sound of my ear being ripped off.” At the time, Chiu’s face was covered in blood and he was almost unconscious. A first responder kept him awake by tapping his face. He stayed in the hospital for almost three weeks for a reconnection operation. Unfortunately, the auricle was necrotic and needed to be removed. He ended up needing 35 stitches.
“I would have sudden throbbing pain from the wound just like that of lightning strikes,” said Chui. The pain covered the entire left side of his body. He could not lift his left shoulder or arm and needed physical therapy. His ears on both sides were unbalanced and caused him dizziness, so he used an umbrella as a cane to help. “I had planned to give this umbrella to an elderly [person], never thought that I would have used it for myself.”
Because of fluid contact with the suspect, Chiu needed to take anti-AIDS medication, which gave him side effects like confusion and difficultly in focusing. To ensure no other side effects were caused by the medication, blood tests were required periodically. “I feel so sorry for my wife as we had planned to have a child after the district election.” One of the reasons the couple decided not to have children till now is because of the skyrocketing property prices. They lived with their parents after getting married and lacked space for kids.
Chiu’s position as District Councilor earns a monthly salary of HK$34,000. Compared to the HK$18,000 average price per square foot of real estate in Taikoo Shing, being able to purchase an apartment was like a dream. Chiu’s injury delayed their plan for having kids indefinitely.
November 24th’s election was the first after the outbreak of the “Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement.” The results reflected the general public’s political views, so opposition parties gained most of the votes. Although Chiu’s election work was stopped due to his attack, he was still elected into office with 63% of the votes and successfully re-elected for the third time. “Blue-ribbons (pro-establishment supporters) like to criticize polls’ unreliability. This is the government election, one vote per person, I won and gained the majority votes.” Kacee Ting, his competitor, had never served the district but decided to run his campaign just months before the district election. There was a remarkable incident about him harassing pro-democracy residents and shouting: “No Lennon Walls in Taikoo Shing. No Lennon Walls in Taikoo Shing.” Pro-establishment parties had already lost votes from the swing voters.
Chiu had a significantly small number of votes this time compared to what he had in the previous election (73%). One of the reasons for this is China-affiliated corporations have heavily acquired local real estate in recent years for money laundering, to get away from their money being seized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). These properties, however, are considered as dormitories for CCP’s minions instead of occupying actual owners. As a result, causing the changing demography within the district.” said Chiu. The suspect – Joe Chen is one of those few minions, reported as unemployed but lives in an apartment with a market value of over 15 million dollars.
Andrew Chiu and the four others injured on that day have filed claims in the High Court. Joe Chen is also charged with “wounding or striking with intent to do grievous bodily harm” (Cap 212 Section 17), in which the maximum penalty is imprisonment for life.
On April 26th, 2020, hundreds responded to online calls to protest under the slogan “Singing with you” by gathering at Cityplaza Mall. Riot police holding pepper spray cans entered the mall to disperse the crowds. Chiu questioned the police why they could break into the private premise. Several police officers teased him, “He’s lost his ear, he can’t listen,” while rubbing their ears in front of Chiu. Chiu has filed a complaint with The Equal Opportunities Commission, for their acts of disability discrimination.
Photography：Ko Chung Ming 高仲明
Text：Choi Wai Man 蔡慧敏
Translation：Joanna Ng (Switch language on top left corner)
About the series▾
Ko Chung-ming is a local Hong Kong photographer, having an over 20-year of experience in the field, he specializes in shooting photo-stories, in-depth coverage. His work 《Wounds of Hong Kong 港傷》 entered theSony World Photography Awards 2020 – Professional Group last three.
“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”Scars and bruises may fade, but we must remember what caused them.
Ko states that the purpose of《Wounds of Hong Kong》is to record police brutality, and provided an in-depth interview story with each Hong Kong people who engaged in the movement. Amnesty International Hong Kong picked 10 stories out of 24, presenting to the public.