The Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, former Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying has raised the reward offered for information on the whereabouts of a young woman who became a symbol for protesters in Hong Kong in 2019.
The existing reward of HK$400,000 was raised to HK$1 million (US$128,820) via Leung’s “803 Fund” after a newspaper report revealed, yesterday, May 25, that the “broken eye girl” as Chinese language reports call her, left Hong Kong for Taiwan on a China Airlines flight, September 30 last year, according to a report in Taiwan’s United Daily News.
The young woman, who has never been named in media reports, and is believed to be in her early 20s, was allegedly shot in the eye with a beanbag-round by police on August 11, 2019. Pictures of the girl bleeding heavily from an eye injury galvanized protesters against police brutality.
The eye girl became a figurehead for what was up to that time “a faceless and leaderless protest movement,” according to a report in The Guardian, published several days later.
The day after her injury, thousands of protesters swarmed in and around Hong Kong International Airport, effectively shutting it down for two days. Many of the protesters wore gauze or bloody eye patches over one eye in solidarity with the “eye girl,” chanting: “An eye for an eye!”
China’s state-run media denied that the woman was shot by police, and claimed that she had been hit by a ball-bearing from a protester’s slingshot.
Hong Kong police told media that an investigation has revealed that the woman’s eye ball had not been “burst” as claimed at the time, quoting hospital medical reports seized during the investigation, according to reports including The Standard (Hong Kong), yesterday, May 25.
Police sources said that the woman’s injuries were not very serious, and had only consisted of injuries on areas around her eye, The Standard said.
The Standard reported that police have already charged 29 people for rioting on that day and were investigating the eye girl for also being involved in rioting.
“Police are also investigating whether opposition forces conspired to cover up information regarding the injuries of the young woman and dispersed rumors to incite a series of violent protests intended to overthrow the government,” The Standard quoted the police source as saying.
[China-nationalist-leaning] United Daily News cited the Ta Kung Pao Hong Kong media outlet as saying that Hong Kong activists had colluded with foreign forces to hype up the incident, causing social unrest.
When the “broken eye girl” left Hong Kong for Taiwan on September 30, “She had bright eyes, and smiled while posing for a photo with her relatives and friends.” There were no signs of an eye injury, the report said.
“She has not returned to Hong Kong, and her whereabouts are unknown.
Former Hong Kong Chief Executive, and current CCP bureaucrat Leung Chun-ying established the “803 Fund” in September, 2020, to offer rewards for tracking down people for “violent or other illegal acts” during the Hong Kong protests.
The wealthy businessman had originally offered HK$400,000 to track down the whereabouts of the “broken-eye girl”. After it was found that she may be hiding in Taiwan, it was announced on the evening of May 25 that the amount of the reward will be increased to HK$1 million, the United Daily News report said.
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