Beijing: The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong took an ugly turn with women protesters alleging sexual assaults by men opposing the Occupy Central movement, which entered eight day on Sunday.
A woman protester has alleged that she and other male pro-democracy activists were sexually assaulted by a man opposing the Occupy movement in Causeway Bay on Friday and police did nothing about it.
A video uploaded on the website of the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post showed an older man in a white polo shirt violently groping a young woman while arguing with her.
A woman identified as Christine was quoted by the Post as saying that she was standing as part of a human chain when the man lying on the ground sexually assaulted the girl.
"I felt very, very scared, insulted and threatened," she was quoted as saying by the Post.
"I yelled, That guy has assaulted me. The police were there but they didn't really do anything," she said.
Other people at the scene had shouted at the man to move, but he refused to leave the women alone, she added.
"I wasn't scared of the tear gas but I was scared of this. It was non-violent but it was more violent," she said.
The incidents occurred as anti-Occupy groups attempted to remove barriers and destroy tents.
Similar incidents were reported in Mong Kok. Human rights group Amnesty International condemned the police for failing to act.
"Women and girls were among those targeted, including incidents of sexual assault, harassment and intimidation," Amnesty said in a statement.
"Hong Kong's police failed in their duty to protect hundreds of peaceful pro-democracy protesters from attacks by counter demonstrators on Friday evening," they said.
"The Occupy Central movement by thousands of people demanding the free and fair the election of Chief Executive of Hong Kong due in 2017," they added.
The protesters oppose China's insistence on tight rules including the vetting the candidates wanting to stand for election in 2017.
The pro-democracy agitators assert that the restrictions scuttle fair elections.
As per the resolution of the National People's Congress, (NPC), China's main legislature in August, the selection of the chief executive of Hong Kong will be conducted on the basis of nomination by a "broad representative" committee.
Also in another development a police officer who made the controversial call to use tear gas on thousands of demonstrators in Admiralty one week ago fuelling unprecedented civil disobedience in Hong Kong, said he has no regrets and would make the same decision again.
The senior superintendent was the commander in charge of the area where tear gas was fired last Sunday into crowds of pro-democracy supporters that had taken over a major street near government offices.