September 1, 2019, Updated: September 2, 2019
Video footage of a man believed to be an American while being placed under was placed under arrest inside a Hong Kong subway station on the evening of Aug. 31, has gone viral amid growing allegations of police brutality, during another weekend in a city rocked by protests.
Chinese media had since then, published reports that he is a suspected CIA “commander” in Hong Kong. This is precisely in line with Chinese propaganda that the protests have been incited by “foreign forces.”
“What charge is this? Otherwise, it is unlawful!” the man protested in the video as he was escorted away by riot police at the Lai King subway station.
“This is Hong Kong, this is not China!” he said in an earlier video, while surrounded by at least five riot police officers.
“Tell me why? This is Hong Kong, not China!” he shouted desperately.
In the video, officers manage to wrestle him to the ground, during which he repeatedly asks, “Do you agree with the rule of law?” Police are seen tying his hands behind his back with a zip tie.
Footage of the incident and the lead-up to the arrest was captured by a journalist from The Epoch Times. It shows the man being arrested after he refused to use another exit from the platform, as directed by police.
During the incident, police told the Epoch Times reporter who was at the scene, “We are investigating,” they said, without providing further details.
The man, who wasn’t identified, spoke with an American accent. In a video recorded earlier by The Epoch Times, it shows the same man aboard a railway carriage speaking to other passengers. He declares that he has been living in Hong Kong for 24 years and was on his way home, close to the Lai King subway station.
“Why does Beijing want to hurt you?”
“Why does Beijing want to hurt Hong Kong people?” the man questioned.
He proceeded to criticize the Chinese regime for not fulfilling its pledge of allowing Hong Kong autonomy under the framework known as “one country, two systems,” when it reverted from British rule in 1997.
“Why do they [Beijing] want to take away what they promised? They promised a high degree of autonomy,” he asked the passengers.
A few hours later, reports circulated on Chinese media that the man is a CIA “commander” in Hong Kong.
Popular Chinese news portal NetEase, as well as several other Chinese outlets, re-reported a news video by Chinese self-media Prism News that the man is, in fact, a CIA agent whose Chinese name is Bao Weizhong.
Local media Hong Kong Phoenix Television also published the report on its website, but it was later taken down without an explanation.
— 棱镜新闻PRISM News
The news video attributes the information to a social media post by a Chinese netizen.
The video shows an image of a card that says “Press” and “Sveriges Radio” at the top, representing the man in the video’s identity.
The card contains a photo of the cardholder, identifying the man as Martin Svenningsen. Sveriges Radio is Sweden’s public radio newscast.
Svenningsen couldn’t be reached for comment.
Hong Kong police didn’t respond to questions from The Epoch Times regarding the man’s arrest.
The Chinese regime has launched an extensive social media disinformation campaign against the protesters in Hong Kong. It includes narratives that the protests are the work of “terrorists,” instigated by Western powers and “radical forces.”
Many of the Chinese news outlets that covered the report stated it was “solid evidence” that U.S. authorities are behind the protests.
Recently, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube suspended hundreds of accounts linked to a Chinese regime-backed information operation seeking to undermine the Hong Kong Protest.
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