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Fact Check

AFP
October 7, 2019

Fact-check: Indonesian domestic helper arrested at Hong Kong protest?

Fact Check

AFP
Mon, Oct 07, 2019
Fact-check: Indonesian domestic helper arrested at Hong Kong protest? Photo: AFP

A photo has been shared hundreds of times in multiple posts on Facebook, Twitter and Weibo which claim it shows an Indonesian domestic helper who was arrested after participating in a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong. The claim is false; the Indonesian consulate in Hong Kong said on October 1, 2019, that no Indonesian national had been arrested during the protests.

The photo was published here on October 1, 2019, in a public Facebook group with more than 14,000 members.

It has been shared more than 200 times since.

Below is a screenshot of the misleading Facebook post:

In the photo, a person wearing black can be seen sitting between two Hong Kong police officers. Behind the person, two traditional Chinese characters translate to English as “first aid”.

The text superimposed on the photo states: “Thomas Hon Wing Polin

“Indonesian domestic helper in Hong Kong, arrested during riots.

“Pay was HK$3,000 (US$385) per day. That’s two-thirds her monthly wage as a domestic.”

The post’s caption, written in traditional Chinese characters, translates to English as: “Indonesian domestic helper arrested, 3000 HKD a day.”

The misleading post was published on the same day that Hong Kong protesters marked China’s National Day, as the city entered its fourth consecutive month of pro-democracy demonstrations. Here is an AFP news report about the events.

Hong Kong is home to more than 300,000 foreign domestic helpers, mostly women from Indonesia and the Philippines, according to this AFP article.

The same photo was published on Facebook here, here and here; on Twitter here and here; and here on Weibo, with a similar claim.

An Indonesian-language post on Facebook here also shared the same image, alongside a similar claim.

The claim is false. The Indonesian Consulate General in Hong Kong issued this statement on October 1, 2019, on its Facebook page, clarifying no Indonesian citizen had been arrested by the Hong Kong police officers during recent protests. Below is a full translation of the whole statement from Indonesian to English:

“Statement of Consulate General of The Republic of Indonesia in Hong Kong related to the alleged arrest of an Indonesian citizen in the demonstration

“1. The Consulate General of The Republic of Indonesia (KJRI) in Hong Kong has received reports about information circulating on social media in the form of photographs showing the arrest of a person allegedly an Indonesian citizen/Indonesian migrant worker.

“2. In accordance with the applicable procedures, the Consulate General always receives written notification from the Hong Kong Police if there is any Indonesian citizen detained for any reason.

“3. To this day, the Consulate General has yet to receive information from the Hong Kong Police regarding detention of any Indonesian citizen involved in illegal assembly or other related criminal acts.

“4. The Consulate General will coordinate with related parties to reconfirm the information. If an Indonesian citizen is arrested, the Consulate will provide assistance to ensure that all the rights of the Indonesian citizen is fulfilled in accordance with applicable law.

“5. The Consulate General appeal to all Indonesian citizen/Indonesian migrant workers to:

- Not involved in all activities related to demonstrations;

- Avoid the demonstration areas;

- Filtering before sharing any unclear information;

- Always obey Hong Kong rules.

“Hong Kong, October 1, 2019.”