• Switzerland edition
 
Expat British cyclist 'beaten' by Basel police
Photo submitted by Hui showing facial injuries.

Expat British cyclist 'beaten' by Basel police

Published: 26 Aug 2013 18:23 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Aug 2013 18:23 GMT+02:00

Hui, 31, suffered cuts and bruises to his face and a broken tooth after Basel police arrested him last Thursday night for riding a bike without cable brakes.

Now, he told The Local in an interview on Monday, he is seeking advice on filing a complaint after suffering what he called “brutality, violence and humiliation” at the hands of two city police officers.

Hui was pedalling at around 7.15pm on his custom-built, fixed gear, single-speed bicycle to the Schaulager Museum, where he was to meet his wife to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary.

The British citizen, born in Hong Kong but educated at university in Scotland, never reached the museum and ended up in hospital instead.

According to his account, he cycled along the Viaduct bridge toward Basel’s Markthalle when he noticed a policeman stepping out of an unmarked brown van.

Realizing that he was riding a bike not permitted in Basel because it does not have regular brakes and that he could face a “heavy fine”, Hui said he “panicked and made a U-turn”.

Police followed in the van with a siren blaring, he said.

Hui said he changed direction four more times, ignoring the calls of officers to stop.

“Then they pepper-sprayed me and I was still on my bike when they tackled me to the ground,” he told The Local.

The slightly built architect — he weighs around 60 kilograms — lost part of a tooth during the arrest.

“It could have been the impact of the fall or when they handcuffed me,” Hui said.

“I also received punches to the face.”

Hui denied the reported contention of police that he was resisting arrest and that he was injured when he fell from his bike.

“From the time I was pepper-sprayed I did not do anything to get away,” he said.

Other officers confiscated Hui’s bicycle and as he was driven to the hospital the men who beat him up played “loud heavy metal music”.

When they arrived at the hospital, Hui said he was denied the right to make a telephone call.


All but one of the officers involved removed the name tabs fastened to their uniforms with velcro, he added.

Hui has lived in Basel for seven years and said he likes the city.

But he is disappointed by the way police acted.

“From my friends I have heard similar stories,” he said.

“To my mind they are not very friendly or gentlemanly.”

He acknowledged that language was a barrier, since the officers spoke little English and gave out orders in Swiss-German, which he could not understand.

Basel police initially had no comment on the incident, which has been picked up by local media.

“In terms of the reaction, it’s very divided,” Hui said.

“There are also some very intelligent people who understand my part of the story.”

Hui said he has yet to hear from police as to whether he will be charged or fined.

But he added: “I hope others can learn from this and that something good can come from this bad story.”

Photo submitted by Hui shows tooth he claims was broken by Basel police

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Body of Czech climber found after 40 years
The body was found near Mount Titlis. Photo: Caroline Bishop/The Local

Body of Czech climber found after 40 years

The body of a Czech hiker who disappeared 40 years ago after an avalanche in Switzerland has been found on a glacier in the Bernese alps, Bern cantonal police reported on Thursday. READ  

Doctor: Schumacher needs 'years to recover'
Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in a ski accident in December. Photo: AFP

Doctor: Schumacher needs 'years to recover'

A French doctor treating stricken former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher said on Thursday that the German ace was making progress, but will need years to recover. READ  

Roche reveals towering plans for Basel site
Roche's development will include the highest building in the country. Photo: Roche

Roche reveals towering plans for Basel site

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche is to invest three billion francs ($3.14 billion) in its Basel headquarters over the course of the next ten years in a massive redevelopment project which includes the construction of the tallest building in Switzerland. READ  

Swiss fair ponders bags for wee problem
Photo: Jon-Eric Melsæter

Swiss fair ponders bags for wee problem

After a record number of people were reported to the police for urinating in public, Wega, the annual family fair in Weinfelden, in the canton of Thurgau, is considering distributing portable urinal bags next year in an effort to tackle the problem. READ  

Special permits for foreign strippers to end
Photo: AFP

Special permits for foreign strippers to end

Bern says it plans to stop issuing special work permits for foreign strippers hailing from countries such as Russia, the Dominican Republic and Thailand. READ  

Federer and Nadal win with ease in Basel
Federer acknowledges hometown spectators after win. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Federer and Nadal win with ease in Basel

Top seeds Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal raced through their Swiss Indoors assignments on Wednesday, spending under an hour each on court and dropping just five games between them. READ  

Swiss seek Unesco listing for yodelling
Photo: Swiss Images.ch/AFP

Swiss seek Unesco listing for yodelling

Switzerland announced on Wednesday that it would like the Alpine country's deep-seated traditions such as yodelling and precision watchmaking to be inscribed on a United Nations global heritage list. READ  

ABB's orders rise but third-quarter profits dip
Photo: ABB

ABB's orders rise but third-quarter profits dip

Swiss engineering group ABB on Wednesday reported a surge in orders from the energy industry in the third quarter, but warned of headwinds from the slowing global economy. READ  

Red faces at Migros over Hitler coffee cream pots
Photo: AFP

Red faces at Migros over Hitler coffee cream pots

Swiss retailer Migros apologized on Wednesday for what it said was a string of errors which put coffee cream with the faces of Hitler and Mussolini in cafes in the Alpine country. READ  

Cold and snow signal end to Indian summer
Webcam view of La Tzoumaz in the 4 Vallées resort area in the canton of Valais on Wednesday. Photo: Televerbier.ch

Cold and snow signal end to Indian summer

After a summery weekend with temperatures as high as 24 degrees, parts of Switzerland experienced an early taste of winter on Wednesday with snow falling at levels as low as 600 metres in some areas. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Majority of Swiss back proposed new immigration curbs: poll
Features
Eritrean asylum seekers find refuge in Swiss monastery town
National
Expat American professor disputes 'unjust' Swiss citizenship rejection
National
Sputtering eurozone drags down Swiss economic growth forecast
Features
Swiss-based English expat writer lauds immigrant 'brains and brawn'
International
Our survey: Switzerland third priciest for food and drink from back home
National
Zurich market gardener sets world 'record' for heaviest pumpkin
National
Report: Switzerland's residents richer than before economic crash
Features
Geneva lab sleuths use high tech to help art world uncover fakes
National
Father of Scot missing since early September fears Swiss trauma
National
Foreign women give birth to rising share of newborns: latest figures
National
'Giant's penis' bloom in Basel uni botanical garden bigger than ever
National
Switzerland's voters reject public health insurance proposal
National
Zooming foreign immigration continues to boost Swiss population
National
Scientific study rings alarm over wellbeing of Swiss cows with bells
National
Geneva MP seeks ban on charging for tap water in restaurants
Business & Money
Switzerland's residents top world financial wealth list: Allianz report
National
Saint Maurice abbey in Valais celebrates 1,500 years of history
National
Streaming movie video service Netflix arrives in Switzerland
National
Professional Chilean base jumper dives to death in Swiss Alps
Education
ETH Zurich remains top university in Europe: QS world rankings
National
Switzerland's housing vacancy rate jumps: new federal figures
National
Swiss football club fires team masseuse over explicit sex video
National
Geneva police arrest easyJet passenger over hand luggage row
Business & Money
Latest forecasts for Swiss economic growth turn less bullish
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher to continue treatment at Swiss home
National
Former federal planning official calls for nine Swiss cantons
Features
The Local gets the lowdown on mushroom picking in Switzerland
National
Virgin boss Richard Branson's son rescued from peak of Matterhorn
National
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter's commute turns Twitter sensation
Features
High-tech cameras give dizzy view of Eiger's north face (VIDEO)
Politics
Baden municipal council strips 'nude selfies mayor' of duties
Business & Money
Switzerland stays atop competitiveness table for sixth year
National
Federal parliament secretary agrees to step down over nude selfies
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Politics
Woman accuses Swiss politician in nude selfies scandal of lying
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,248
jobs available