Over the weekend, demonstrators in Hong Kong wore bras in protest of the sentencing of female protester Ng Lai-ying to three-and-a-half months in prison for assaulting a police officer — with her breast. Ng’s chest bumped the arm of policeman Chan Ka-Po during a heated protest back in March. Amateur footage shows Ng falling to the ground during the encounter with police officers. It’s unclear what happens next, but when she returns to her feet, her face is seen bleeding in the video. The police pressed charges against Ng for assaulting the officer with her breast, she went on trial and was eventually convicted. “You used your female identity to trump up the allegation that the officer had molested you. This is a malicious act,” said deputy magistrate Can Pik-kiu at her sentencing, adding that Ng had harmed the officer’s reputation. Besides the absurdity of the conviction itself, protesters expressed concern that Ng was also blamed for seeking help. “Should we silence ourselves in the face of sexual violence?” asked Ng Cheuk Lin, a 24-year-old activist with Hong Kong Women’s Coalition on Equal Opportunities. “If this sets a precedent, the police will not only abuse their power but strip women of their right to take part in protests. Sexual harassment becomes a tactic for police oppression.”
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