the Hong Kong Police Force has frequently resorted to indiscriminate and unlawful use of less lethal weapons, such as tear gas, and has engaged in a clear pattern of unnecessary and excessive force during arrests of protesters. Police abuses appear to have steadily worsened over the course of the protests
Mass protests arose in Hong Kong in April 2019, worsening from 9 June onward, initially over proposed legislative amendments that would have allowed for extradition to mainland China. The protests have continued at least weekly, and often daily, ever since.
In response, the Hong Kong Police Force has frequently resorted to indiscriminate and unlawful use of less lethal weapons, such as tear gas, and has engaged in a clear pattern of unnecessary and excessive force during arrests of protesters. Police abuses appear to have steadily worsened over the course of the protests.
The vast majority of protesters have been peaceful, but protester violence appears to be escalating alongside excessive use of force by the police. Protests at Hong Kong’s airport turned violent, and protesters have also broken into the Legislative Council Complex and vandalised Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations. This violence has been seen to increase alongside the government’s failure to address public demands and the police’s consistent use of excessive force.
Amnesty International has monitored events on the ground and through verifying photographic and video evidence that it has been sent directly and that has been posted online. An Amnesty International field investigation team in early September interviewed people with first-hand information of police abuses, including 21 people arrested during the protests, and also directly observed an indiscriminate and reckless police responses to protests during the evenings of 7 and 8 September.
The oveall picture is clear: The Hong Kong Police Force has committed pervasive human rights violations as a state actor in responding to the protests and is not in a position to investigate itself and to remedy the widespread unlawful suppression of protests.
Amnesty International is urgently calling for an effective independent, impartial investigation aimed at delivering truth, justice, and reparation, as there is little trust in existing internal mechanisms and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Tags: Hong Kong, China, Police.
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