San Uk Ling Holding Centre
San Uk Ling Holding Centre (Chinese: 新屋嶺扣留中心) is a detention centre located in Man Kam To, Hong Kong, China. It is located in a remote area, 1.5 km from Shenzhen and only a few hundred metres from the Man Kam To Control Point. San Uk Ling Holding Centre began operations in the 1970s and was mainly used to repatriate stowaways.
|Location||Sheung Shui, Hong Kong, China|
|Security class||Detention center|
San Uk Ling has been used to detain protesters during the 2019 Hong Kong protests, and there have been controversial allegations of mistreatment and sexual violence which have been vehemently denied by the police.
The remote centre was constructed in 1979 as a holding centre to hold illegal immigrants that had been captured, before their repatriation, and continues to serve the purpose as of 2019. After the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests on 4 June 1989, San Uk Ling was used as a temporary shelter for movement leaders who were transported to Hong Kong during Operation Yellowbird. During the WTO Ministerial Conference in 2005, arrested militant Korean farmers were sent to San Uk Ling.
2019 Hong Kong protestsEdit
After 5 August 2019, during the 2019 Hong Kong protests, some arrested protestors were sent to San Uk Ling as an overspill detention facility. On 11 August 2019 alone, 54 people who were arrested in Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui were sent there. While Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Pat Heung, and Sheung Shui police stations being located closer to downtown Hong Kong and having some detainee capacity, San Uk Ling is more remote, making it difficult for arrested persons to contact outsiders. There are no closed-circuit televisions in the entrance and exit passages, meeting rooms and search rooms of San Uk Ling.
In September 2019, 31 people detained in San Uk Ling were sent to the North District Hospital, among whom 6 were seriously injured with bone fractures. One person was reportedly beaten to the point that his arm was connected to his torso only through skin. Others reportedly had their teeth beaten out, and some reportedly suffered intracerebral haemorrhages. There were also allegations of delays in sending the injured to the hospital, and deprivation of necessary medication. Some protesters taken to San Uk Ling also alleged sexual assault by officers there. Six justices of the peace who had wanted to visit San Uk Ling to investigate allegations of mistreatment there saw their request denied.
The Police Public Relations Branch said that all the allegations against the centre were "unnamed", "unverified" and "untrue", that it had been nothing more than a standard detention facility, used in line with police regulations. They said that the centre had since 2 September not been used to hold arrested protesters, who would in future be sent to police stations across the city in case of mass arrests. The spokesman further added that the decision "has nothing to do with the groundless allegations of police of misconduct, and that it was a necessary step "to avoid any further public speculation and unnecessary remarks" as to its continued use.
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- "Why police stopped sending protesters to this remote and controversial jail". South China Morning Post. 27 September 2019.
- "【我在新屋嶺的32小時】房間漆黑一片開大冷氣 被捕者一字排開個個成身血". Next Magazine. Next Digital. 9 September 2019.
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- Sum Lok-kei (8 September 2019). "Justices of the peace denied entry to police detention centre". South China Morning Post.