Hong Kong Police concern about the safety of their families. The law enforcement got the continued cyberbullying from the protesters. They have expressed concern about the safety of their families, as police officers and family members have suffered online privacy breaches, personal attacks and threats.
Paul Wong Wai-ching, a professor of the University of Hong Kong, said cyberbullying hurts the police greatly because they are being attacked by the very people they have sworn to protect.
Cyberbullying triggers negative emotions among its victims, including anger, self-doubt and depression. It also could lead to suicide attempts.
Personal information of police officers and their family members have been disclosed. Their personal data has been circulated on social media since police clashed with demonstrators opposing the government’s extradition law amendment bill on June 2019.
Barrister Lawrence Ma Yan-kwok said some behaviour such as criminal intimidation and disclosing personal data obtained without the consent of the party involved was illegal. Under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and Crimes Ordinance, these two offenses carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Posts on online platforms show the officers’ names, telephone numbers, home addresses, photographs, and even family information. There are also graphic expressions of hate speech, calling police officers “loyal dogs of the government”. Some even advocate the “heroic” bullying of police officers’ children to death.
That leads to some communities formed a concern group against school bullying after noting that the children of police officers were being targeted. They will set up hotlines to offer help – aware that there have been online appeals to target children of police officers.
“The kids of the police officers would be a concern of the Hong Kong community. Because you can see from the internet that they are collecting information about the kids of police officers and say they will ‘do something’ said a representative of the group.
Meanwhile, wives of Hong Kong police officers said they are scared for their children, for their husbands, and for themselves.
Says one of them. “I tell my children, ‘don’t tell anyone, not your teacher, not your best friend, no one, what your father’s job is’.”
Being the child of a Hong Kong police is now a dirty secret which could invite bullying, threats, fights or attacks.
They feel how terrified is the doxing – the practice of tracking people down on the internet then exposing all their personal details, such as telephone numbers, addresses, schools and workplaces.
They had to change their school classes and teachers after their children were identified as the offspring of police and then victimised.
The Hong Kong police were set upon by their fellow HongKongers, hit with poles, whacked by wrenches, wrestled to the ground by the protesters who tried to snatch their guns.
They’re facing firebombs, being sprayed with corrosive material and are up against sheer mob fury.
In return, cops have repeatedly sprayed the protesters with water cannon, shot a thousand rounds of teargas, squirted pepper spray in their faces. There’s been outrage at the violence used in making arrests.
How the Hong Kong police handled those things has led to rising anger and hatred against authorities and law enforcement.
“Our husbands are trying to protect all the Hong Kong people,” they explained.
Because of their husbands’ work they said they have lost friends and some of their family have stopped speaking to them.
“We cannot go out on the streets anymore. We don’t dare to,” they stated.
They feel so disappointed that Hong Kong has come to this terrible situation. They just want Hong Kong back to peace again. They have some sympathy over the protesters’ democracy demands – but not their use of violence.
“We don’t have five demands, just one: to keep our kids in a safe environment which should be the right of any parent but it’s not for us.”
Amnesty International, unfortunately, while focusing on the human rights situation in Hong Kong, ignoring the human rights of police officers, their families and civilians. They have turned a blind eye to doxing attacks against the families of Hong Kong police.
Photos : Dessy Savitri