After the announcement that 30-year-old Ng Lai-ying was sentenced to three and a half months in jail for “assaulting” a police officer with her breast during a March protest against parallel trading, many Hong Kong residents took to the web to express their anger over the “breast assault” verdict by sharing photos of their own weapons.
The hashtag, #反對女性胸部被視為攻擊性武器, which can be translated as “In opposition to the female breast being considered an offensive weapon,” has spread quickly online.
The protest’s organizer surnamed Yee told Apple Daily that she thinks the verdict is cruel, unfair and makes absolutely no sense.
“They are insulting women’s bodies and I bet that all women will not stand for it,” Yee added.
Another protest called “Breast Walk” is planned to start from Wan Chai Police Headquarters at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.
The Hong Kong Progressive Lawyers Group released a short commentary in response to the strange case:
Ms. Ng was convicted on the ground that she had used her breast to assault the police officer. We would, with great respect, express our doubts on the decision. As a matter of common sense, it seems improbable that someone who intended to attack another person would use her breast to do so. We acknowledge that the “statement of findings” has not yet been issued, and so the exact reasoning behind the decision is not yet known. However, on the present information, it is difficult not to doubt the decision.
Moreover, we would question, with respect, whether the sentences imposed on Ms. Ng and the other defendants were too excessive. We note that all of the defendants had clear records (in other words, they were first-time offenders). Ms. Ng was also described by the magistrate as having “positive, good character”. It is also relevant that the police officer did not suffer any injury.
We observe that there has been an outpouring of public reaction, including many expressions of doubt and disappointment at the findings and sentence in Ms. Ng’s case. In light of what has been stated above, we can understand the sentiments behind such reaction. As it is probable that the case will go on appeal, we will refrain from commenting further on the specific facts at this stage. However, we will continue to closely monitor any further developments.