December 22, 2019

Hong Kong police sued by journalist who lost eye after being hit with a rubber bullet
A journalist who lost her eye filming protests in Hong Kong has launched a legal bid to unmask the police officer who shot her with a rubber bullet. Veby Mega Indah was blinded in one eye while live streaming for Indonesian-language publication Suara from the frontline of the Hong Kong protests earlier this year. But she claims police have refused to investigate. She has now submitted a private bid to sue the officer for negligence. But her case cannot progress without knowing the identity of her shooter. She has now applied to the high court to reveal his details. It is the latest damaging case against the Hong Kong police force, which has been accused of heavy-handed tactics.  A panel of foreign experts overseeing an investigation into allegations of excessive force resigned earlier this month in protest at slow progress. Veby Mega Indah receives emergency aid after being hit by a rubber bullet Credit: Isaac Lawrence/AFP Ms Indah, 39, is convinced the police are delaying because the evidence is so clear-cut. Despite her efforts, any meeting with the police investigators has yet to materialise, with the only visits coming from police public relations  teams. “I’m really offended, this is criminal misconduct. They changed my life and they’re treating this as public relations,” Indah stressed. She was shot while covering clashes between protesters and police in the district of Wan Chai. She was wearing full press gear including press identification, a helmet, gasmask, a luminous high visual press-vest and eye-goggles. Ms Indah was recording the unfolding events at the time with a group of journalists. As space was tight on the bridge, protesters, press and police were all squeezed close to each other. Hong Kong protests “At one point I heard a fellow journalist shouting ‘don’t aim at us’, in Cantonese,” she said. “Then I heard two bangs… loud bangs, then white smoke from the stairs and I saw something coming towards my right eye. It hits me and I staggered as another journalist hugged me, not breaking my fall.  I couldn’t open my eyes, people were screaming and panicking and the footbridge was trembling,” Indah told The Telegraph. First-aiders arrived quickly, as Indah lay on the ground she was in a state of shock. “I was so confused – why would they shoot me? I thought it was going to be my end.” Despite the protective wear, the impact of the projectile was so strong it ruptured her eye beyond repair. “When I got to the hospital, a doctor cursed. That’s when I knew it was bad. At that point, my main focus was to stay alive. They’ve told me they cannot improve my vision,” she said, holding back the tears. Ms Indah says she has been taking painkillers to ease the pain, whilst she has recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress order.
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