*This story earned a Intermedia-Globe Gold Award in Feature News at 2020 Hamburg World Media Festivals.*
“The arrested protesters are very young, with a bright future lying ahead of them. We want to help the arrested protesters, to make them realise that they’re not to be sacrificed for nothing, not to be sacrificed for social good. They are supported by the rest of us in society, and we’ll walk with them side by side.” – Sam Chow, Barrister-at-Law
“We see more and more young people arrested for wearing masks or for refusing to take off their masks when stopped by the police… and it provoked anger. It provoked a sense of rebellion from the younger people. So instead of relying on the anti-mask law, the government has achieved a counter effect.” – Lawrence Lok SC, Member of Hong Kong Bar Council
Over 2,600 people have been arrested since the extradition protests started in June. Nearly a third of them are under 18 years old. When police starts making mass arrests after clashes with the protesters, that’s when “volunteer lawyers” like Sam take to the street to start their night of pro bono legal assistance for arrested protesters.
With little information in hand, the lawyers have to rely on their luck and instinct as they run in and out of police stations across the city, hoping to see every arrested protester being fairly treated by the police.
At least 200 lawyers are providing pro bono legal advice for arrested protesters and their families, around the clock, since July.
Archive link at RTHK (2019-10-25):
Full interview with Lawrence Lok SC: link here