Filipino still detained after alleged involvement in Hong Kong protest

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FILE PHOTO

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 5) — A Filipino who works as a performer in Hong Kong Disneyland remains in police custody after he was arrested for his alleged participation in the protests in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Deputy Consul General Germie Usudan on Monday said the OFW, who requested not to be named, is detained at the North Point Police Station since Saturday.

She said the OFW denied participation in the violent protests. He said he was buying food when he was caught in the middle of the protest in Mong Kok. He was reportedly wearing a black shirt, the color associated with rallyists calling for pro-democratic reforms.

No charges have been filed yet against the OFW, but he is under investigation for “unlawful assembly”. Usudan said the OFW is being assisted by three pro bono lawyers.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said in statement Monday that the Filipino denied taking part in the protest, and insisted he was just in the area to buy food.

“However, protesters were also on the side street where he was, and the former started running as they were chased by riot police. He was accosted by the police who believed that he was one of the protesters,” he said.

Protest leaders are calling on people to participate in city-wide strikes and protests across at least seven different parts of Hong Kong on Monday — the fifth straight day of mass demonstrations in the city. The Hong Kong government warned protesters could push the city into a “very dangerous situation.”

Usudan said the Philippine consulate has released an advisory on how Filipinos can stay safe amid the public protests.

Kung maaari iwasan itong lugar ng rallies at kung maaari, huwag na silang magsuot ng itim o puti na pang-itaas kasi ito ang kulay na ginagamit ng mga raliyista. Kapag sila ay mahalo doon, hindi sila masama sa aresto,” she said.

[Translation: If possible let's avoid these areas where rallies are held and if possible, they shouldn't wear black or white tops since these are colors used by protesters. If they get bungled up there, arrests are possible.]

For the ninth consecutive weekend, Hong Kong has been at the center of increasingly violent protests about a now-shelved extradition to China bill. That controversy has sparked a deepening political crisis which has, at times, brought parts of the city to a standstill.