TIME Hong Kong

A Hong Kong Woman Got Sentenced for Assaulting a Police Officer With Her Breast

The woman has been released on bail pending an appeal

A young woman in Hong Kong has been sentenced to jail for three and a half months for assaulting a senior police officer with her breast during a protest over cross-border trading, the South China Morning Post reports.

Ng Lai-ying, 30, was convicted early in July and was sentenced on Thursday. The authorities have suggested that Ng pushed against the officer with her breast in order to accuse him of indecent assault in what deputy magistrate Michael Chan Pik-kiu termed an inappropriate use of her “female identity.”

According to the Post, Chan told the court that he had to hand down a deterrent sentence in case “the public might mistakenly think it is a trivial matter to assault police officers during protests.” He also said that he had received threats in connection with the case.

Ng, who was remanded two weeks ago with three other defendants, has been released on bail pending an appeal, the Post reports.

[SCMP]

TIME Uber

Toronto Cab Drivers Sue Uber for $300 Million

The Hamptons Lure Uber Top Drivers Amid NYC Slow Summer Weekends
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Class-action suit could include drivers across Ontario

Toronto cab drivers are suing the ride-hailing app Uber for over $300 million ($400 million Canadian) in damages and seeking an injunction to get the startup out of the Canadian city.

The class-action lawsuit, which specifically targets the low-cost UberX service, covers all cab drivers in Ontario, according to the law firm representing the drivers. Uber said the suit was without merit.

An earlier attempt by the city of Toronto to remove Uber from the city was rejected by an Ontario court. On Thursday Uber expanded into several new cities in southwestern Ontario, including Hamilton and London.

Toronto is just one of many cities where Uber is embroiled in municipal fights. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio had threatened to impose a cap on the number of Uber cars that could drive in the city, but tabled the initiative this week. In France the company suspended its Uberpop service at the start of July following large protests by the city’s taxi drivers.

[Reuters]

TIME New York

Thousands Protest U.S.-Iran Deal in Times Square

George Pataki
Frank Franklin II— AP Supporters line Seventh Avenue during the Stop Iran protest in New York City on July 22, 2015

"That is not the way democracy should operate"

(NEW YORK) — Thousands of protesters packed into Times Square Wednesday evening to demand that Congress vote down the proposed U.S. deal with Iran.

As the crowd loomed behind police barricades, chants of “Kill the deal!” could be heard for blocks. The event, billed as the “Stop Iran Rally” consisted mainly of pro-Israel supporters, though organizers said it represents Americans of all faiths and political convictions.

The group is asking Congress to reject the deal under which the U.S. would agree to lift economic sanctions against Iran in return for measures to prevent the country from building nuclear weapons.

President Barack Obama has said the U.S. considers Iran an adversary whose activities will be closely monitored.

At the rally, Alan Dershowitz, a prominent Jewish attorney, said he was “opposing the deal as a liberal Democrat.” He said he believed democracy was “ignored” because the Obama administration negotiated the deal without congressional input.

“That is not the way democracy should operate,” he told the crowd.

In a statement Wednesday, Rep. Peter King, a former chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said he attended a classified briefing with Secretary of State John Kerry and “is still convinced that this is a bad deal for America.”

“It was entirely wrong and arrogant for the Obama administration to submit the deal to the U.N. before Congress voted on it,” he said. “It is definitely my intention to vote no on this deal with Iran.”

Desiree Soper of Long Island said she was drawn to the protest because she wanted to voice her opposition.

“I don’t trust Iran,” she said. “They’ll find loopholes.”

Demonstrators also took note that U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer did not attend the protest, prompting chants of “Where is Chuck?” from the crowd.

Schumer was in Washington Wednesday evening. He said in a statement that he has read the agreement and is waiting to speak with experts from both sides before deciding how to vote on the proposal.

Organizers estimated about 10,000 people attended the event.

TIME Hong Kong

A Hong Kong Woman Just Got Convicted of Assaulting a Police Officer With Her Breast

Hong Kong Police Continue To Clear Protest Sites
Alexander Koerner—Getty Images Riot police forces clash with pro-democracy protesters shortly after midnight at Mong Kok on October 19, 2014 in Hong Kong.

The extent of the officer's physical injuries was not revealed

A court in Hong Kong convicted 30-year-old Ng Lai-ying Thursday of assaulting a police officer by hitting him with her breast during a protest on March 1.

Ng testified that during the protest the officer had reached out his arm to grasp the strap of her bag and that his hand had come in contact with her upper left breast, the South China Morning Post reports.

She told the court that she immediately yelled, “Indecent assault!”

But in his decision, the magistrate rejected those allegations, accusing Ng of lying in her testimony and instead finding her guilty of using her breast to bump the officer’s arm. “You used your female identity to trump up the allegation that the officer had molested you. This is a malicious act,” he said.

There was no word on what physical injuries, if any, the officer suffered.

[SCMP]

TIME Bangladesh

Public Lynching of Teenager in Bangladesh Brings Hundreds of Protesters to the Streets

BANGLADESH-CRIME-CHILDREN
STR—AFP/Getty Images Bangladeshis protest against the beating death of a 13-year-old boy in Sylhet, Bangladesh, on July 13, 2015

The young boy was beaten to death by a gang of men who accused him of theft

The brutal murder of a 13-year-old boy last week, publicly beaten to death by a group of men, has sparked widespread protests in Bangladesh, with hundreds taking to the streets of the northeastern city of Sylhet on Sunday.

A video of the beating taken by a bystander has gone viral in the South Asian nation and prompted mass outrage and calls for justice, the BBC reported, citing local media. The men are shown laughing and taunting young Samiul Alam Rajon as they hit him repeatedly with a metal rod, while he begs them to stop and asks for a glass of water. They also tied him to a metal pole, and threatened to upload the video to Facebook.

An autopsy report found over 60 injury marks on Rajon’s body, and concluded that he died of a brain hemorrhage from injuries to the head.

Three of the men, including the prime suspect who had fled to Saudi Arabia, have been detained by the police, and a special squad has been formed to investigate the case.

The brutal killing appears to be a case of mob justice, with the men reportedly accusing Rajon — who worked with his family selling vegetables — of trying to steal a cycle rickshaw. The mob was spotted and chased by a few locals while trying to dump Rajon’s body in a nearby landfill, with one being caught and handed over to authorities. The other two were taken into custody in the subsequent days.

“It is a sad and unfortunate incident,” Bangladesh’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told a local news outlet. “The rest will be arrested soon. None will be spared.”

[BBC]

TIME fashion

Model at Rick Owens Fashion Show in Paris Protests Angela Merkel

Paris Fashion Rick Owens
Kamil Zihnioglu—AP A model wears a creation by Rick Owens and holds a banner reading "Please kill Angela Merkel not", as part of his men's Spring/Summer 2016 collection presented in Paris, June 25, 2015.

"Please say that I punched him"

A model took it upon himself to step out in protest of the German Chancellor on the runway of a recent Rick Owens fashion show in Paris.

The model known simply as Jera, according to Women’s Wear Daily, revealed a piece of cloth emblazoned with the words “PLEASE KILL ANGELA MERKEL” above the word “NOT” during Owens’ menswear show on Thursday. Owens said after the show he had nothing to do with the protest and that Jera was “a crazy, rogue, fu-king model that I punched when he came back out.” He added: “Please say that I punched him.”

The designer’s press office later released an official statement, saying: “Rick Owens does not claim responsibility for the act of protest by a model at the Spring Summer 2016 show. This was an independent statement and does not reflect the opinion of the house of Rick Owens.”

Owens’ camp has unsuccessfully asked that images of the protest be blurred or deleted.

[WWD]

TIME Uber

Paris Taxi Drivers Burn Tires, Flip Cars In Giant Protest Against Uber

In its five year history, Uber has made a lot of enemies. Some of its fiercest may be in Paris.

Cabbies on Thursday blocked roads to and from Paris airports and disrupted traffic on a major highway in opposition of Uber’s service, which they say represents unfair competition.

AFP reported that cab drivers blocked access to three terminals at Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris’s main transportation hub, and they were converging on Orly airport and train stations in the city. French media reports also showed cabbies overturning cars and burning tires in protest.

Parisian cabbies have staged similar protests in the past, and on some occasions they’ve turned violent.

Though they severely disrupted travel on Thursday, demonstrators won the support of France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve who ordered Paris police to issue a decree banning the activity of UberPOP, which uses unlicensed drivers in private cars to undercut existing taxis, Reuters reports. He also told local police chiefs and prosecutors to crack down on what he said was a failure by Uber to pay social and tax fees in France.

In October 2014, a law in France placed a ban on putting clients in touch with unregistered drivers, but Uber has challenged the rule saying it was unclear and infringed on the freedom to do business.

According to Reuters, Uber spokesman Thomas Meister said Cazeneuve was over-riding the normal legal process. “The way things work in a state of law is that it’s for the justice to judge whether something is legal or illegal,” he told the news agency.

The protests ensnarled at least one celebrity on Thursday. Courtney Love tweeted that demonstrators attacked the car she was in and held her driver hostage.

Luckily, she managed to escape.

 

TIME Crime

How Stolen Prescription Drugs Might Be Fueling Baltimore’s Crime Surge

baltimore police shooting maryland
Colin Campbell—Baltimore Sun/Getty Images Police pick up a pair of tennis shoes after a double shooting in the 2300 block of E. Preston Street in Broadway East on May 24, 2015 in Baltimore, Md.

At least 175,000 prescription drugs looted during April's riots now on the street

Hundreds of thousands of prescription drugs looted during deadly riots in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray may be to blame for a recent surge in violence in the city.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts on Wednesday said that at least 175,000 doses of prescription drugs stolen from 27 pharmacies and two methadone clinics during April’s riots have flooded Baltimore, leading to turf wars and violence over their illegal resale.

Officials are also concerned that private information like names and addresses found on drug labels could be subject to misuse and potentially lead to identity fraud.

Since protests broke out on April 27 following the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody from a severe spinal injury, violent crime has spiked in Baltimore. Last month, there were 43 homicides in the city, the most in a single month since 1978.

Many criminal justice experts, and the city’s police union, say that some criminals now feel emboldened following the riots. Arrests, meanwhile, have decreased significantly over concerns by some officers that they’ll be charged for improper use of force. Six officers have been indicted in Gray’s death.

Peter Moskos, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor, says the stolen drugs could be leading to elevated crime levels but questions whether that’s truly behind the elevated crime levels.

“It could create more robberies,” Moskos says. “That’s certainly possible, but my guess is it doesn’t really matter.” Moskos says he believes that the recent spike in violent crime is due more to a reluctance by police to make arrests.

TIME China

June 4, 1989 Is Not Just the Date of the Tiananmen Massacre but of Many Other Bloody Crackdowns Across China

Viewers crowd around an official photo display in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China Oct. 30, 1989 that depicts violent battles there in June between police and a crowd angered by the Beijing Tiananmen Square killings.
Kathy Wilhelm—AP Viewers crowd around an official photo display in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China, on Oct. 30, 1989, that depicts violent battles there in June between police and a crowd angered by the Tiananmen Square killings in Beijing

In 1989, pro-democracy protests took place not just in Beijing but in cities across China, and they too were savagely suppressed

On June 4, 1989, China’s Communist Party unleashed the People’s Liberation Army on protesters camped in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to quell a seven-week-long pro-democracy movement. In one of the nation’s bloodiest crackdowns, hundreds, if not thousands, of people were killed in what today is simply called “Tiananmen.”

But while Beijing was the best-known and, in the end, deadliest protest, it was only one of many similar protests that stretched across China. Sizable occupations were held in around 20 cities and they too were brutally suppressed.

One such place is Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, and according to Chinese University of Hong Kong professor Willy Lam, “a center for protests.”

In the heart of Chengdu, a 30-m-tall statue of Mao Zedong, his arm outstretched, towers over Tianfu Square. Beneath it, the people of Chengdu staged sit-ins and hunger strikes after former reformist Communist Party general secretary Hu Yaobang died on April 15, 1989.

After weeks of relatively peaceful protests, the square was cleared on June 4, 1989. Journalist Louisa Lim, author of The People’s Republic of Amnesia, a study on the impact of the Tiananmen protests that includes a lengthy account of what took place in Chengdu, says that only an estimated 300 protesters were left in the square and most of them voluntarily left when the police arrived. Trouble began, however, when news of the massacre in Beijing trickled into Chengdu. Then crowds swelled and protesters, fully aware of the danger they were putting themselves in, took to the streets holding banners that read: “We are not afraid of death.”

Street fights erupted, and, over the course of June 4, June 5 and June 6, turned into riots. Protesters stormed the gates and ransacked the Jinjiang Hotel, about 1.5 km from the main square, after which “the police rounded up about 70 protesters and began to beat them brutally in front of guests,” Lim tells TIME. Vehicles were set on fire and eventually a major market in the city was razed (which would later be used by Communist propaganda to discredit the protesters).

In total, official Chinese sources say eight people were killed and 1,800 people were injured, but according to conservative estimates from a U.S. diplomatic cable, the Los Angeles Times and an Amnesty International report from Sept. 19, 1990, around 30 people died in the clashes. Others, including Western eyewitnesses, put the estimate as high as 400, and Lim says, protesters even christened the area “Little Tiananmen.”

It is highly unlikely the truth will ever be known. Chengdu and other similar regional protests have been essentially wiped from the Chinese public’s consciousness. Even outside of China, most people are not aware of them.

“I think what happened was the Chinese government didn’t try to censor immediately, instead what they tried to do was control the narrative,” Lim tells TIME, “They did this by releasing a huge amount of propaganda. They didn’t try to erase the information. They tried to fill it.”

She added: “One of the only things that remains is the propaganda.”

What also survives is a remarkable eyewitness account to the events in Chengdu, written in the form of a letter to the editor of the New York Times by Karl Hutterer, then professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He had landed in Chengdu on June 2, 1989, on an academic visit. “By the time I left on Wednesday, June 7, there was a consensus that from 300 to 400 people had been killed and upward of 1,000 wounded,” he wrote.

A passage from Hutterer’s letter gives a vivid glimpse of the horror that took place:

The clear object of the intervention was not simply to control the demonstrators: even after having fallen to the ground, victims continued to be beaten and were stomped on by troops; hospitals were ordered not to accept wounded students (at least in one hospital some employees were arrested for defying the order), and on the second night of the attack the police prevented ambulances from functioning.

What took place in Chengdu is something that he will never forget. “When things developed in Chengdu, I was shocked to the very core of my personality,” he tells TIME today. “After so many years I am able to reflect calmly, but for many years I couldn’t talk about it without becoming emotional, even my eyes tearing up.” Twenty-six years later, it is time for Chengdu, and the other Chinese democracy protests of 1989, to take their rightful place alongside Tiananmen in the annual June 4 commemorations.

TIME Burundi

Man Survives Mob Attack in Burundi as Protests Intensify

Jean Claude Niyonzima was forced to hide in sewers to escape his attackers

The mob knew where to go, says Associated Press photographer Jerome Delay. “They went straight to his house, found him, and started beating him up with sticks and stones.”

On Thursday, in Bujumbura, Burundi, Jean Claude Niyonzima, a man suspected of being a member of ruling party’s Imbonerakure youth militia, came close to being lynched.

Since April 25, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term in office, the Great Lakes country has been the scene of violent protests. Burundi’s constitution says the president should be elected by universal direct suffrage for a mandate of five years, renewable one time, according to the Associated Press.

The protests remain localized, said Delay, taking place mostly in strongholds of the opposition, but “they are spreading,” he tells TIME. “There have been attempts by small groups to hit the [city’s] business district, but they were quickly repressed. Protesters have blocked streets with barricades. There is a strong police presence throughout, with the military acting as a buffer between police and protesters.”

But the protesters are getting more organized, and the police is now running out of tear gas. “They have started using live bullets,” said Delay, who received a call Thursday morning from a colleague, freelance photographer Phil Moore, that trouble was brewing.

In the Cibitoke district of Bujumbura, a dead protester laid in a pool of blood—he had been shot in the head. “Many soldiers came to the scene,” said Delay. “They were being yelled at by protesters who felt they had failed to protect them.” A mob formed and started marching. And that’s when they reached Jean Claude Niyonzima’s house.

“The attack was a flashback to scenes I had witnessed in Bangui last year,” said the photographer, who covered the violent conflict in Central African Republic in 2013 and 2014. “The zero tolerance for the other, the rage of revenge after one of yours was killed. They must have known where to go. They went straight to his house.”

Niyonzima tried to escape several times—cornered between two buildings, begging for his life, the entire scene felt like an interrogation, said Delay. “He was grabbed, kicked, hit, stoned, but still he had the survival strength to flee into a wide sewer under a hail of stone.”

Then, the army rushed in, firing shots in the air to disperse the crowd. “The soldiers pulled him out of the sewers and kept his assailants at bay,” Delay said. But it only took a minute for the protestors to find another victim, just a few meters up the street. A still unidentified man was beaten and left for dead.

“Where this will go is anyone’s guess,” said Delay. “Members of the civil society have asked protesters to refrain from mounting such attacks, but I’ve just learned that a man was burned to death elsewhere in town.”

Mikko Takkunen, who edited this photo essay, is an Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

Olivier Laurent is the Editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

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