Statement on the IOPC’s Final Report 关于英国监警会报告的声明
Statement on the IOPC’s Final Report
30 June 2019
On 26 June the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) published its findings and decision in response to the complaints that my wife and I filed following my unlawful arrests during the Chinese state visit in October 2015. After three and a half years of waiting for this report, we have been left completely disappointed by the IOPC’s decision to let off the police officers responsible for my arrests, detention, home raid and seizure of computer equipment.
We have learnt that after a long investigation the IOPC found a case to answer for gross misconduct against two senior police officers. However, after criticism from the Metropolitan Police Service, the IOPC reversed their decision and dropped its findings. We find this both morally wrong and procedurally incorrect.
The IOPC’s report shows what we already suspected; that the police were placed under political pressure from both the Chinese and UK governments to make sure that the Chinese president was not “embarrassed” by protesters during his stay. We now know that the Chinese delegation made “a series of requests” regarding the “management of protesters” to the UK government and had tried to apply pressure directly to the police. The investigation says that the UK government also made “unusual requests” to the police about managing protests during the Chinese state visit, which according to one senior police officer was “unprecedented”. Frustratingly, the actual details describing conversations and requests, which amounted to pressure on the police, have all been redacted from the published report on the grounds of “public interest”.
It has emerged that police officers were briefed to make sure that the state visit ran smoothly without “embarrassments” to the Chinese and that “nothing was to go wrong”. The report includes comments by one of the senior officers involved in policing the event that “protest near the Chinese president is almost never tolerated, especially in a foreign country”.
The IOPC originally found that the evidence suggested that political pressure did influence the decision to arrest me, which we strongly believe to be the case. It is incredibly disappointing to learn that the IOPC have now dropped this, after written representations from the Metropolitan Police Service.
The IOPC holds itself out to be independent of the police and government. Our experience shows this to be false. They have completely failed under opposition from the Metropolitan Police Service to hold one of their senior officers to account. In doing so, they have rendered their entire investigation a wasted endeavour. What we asked for was transparency, accountability and redress. What we have been left with is a lack of trust in the police misconduct process and the IOPC’s ability to conduct an independent investigation.
This report came out at the time when remembering the Tiananmen Massacre is still treated as a crime in China, and when two million Hong Kong people took to the street to fight for judiciary independence. We expected so much more in a democratic country, but we are confronted with the chilling reality that our host country in exile is a place where suppression of peaceful protests and the use of ‘public interest’ test to withhold information from public scrutiny have greatly undermined the fundamental values of its own civil liberty and democracy.
We are not giving up. We would like to thank our lawyers at the Bindmans who have fought with us all the way and who will continue to assist us in further legal actions.
IOPC Summary of determinations and final outcomes：https://policeconduct.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Dr%20Shao%20Jiang%20-%20Summary%20of%20determinations%20and%20outcomes.pdf
Summary of IPCC Complaint re My Arrest during Xi Jinping's UK Visit：https://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/countdown-china/summary-ipcc-complaint-re-my-arrest-during-xi-jinpings-uk-visit#.VmqDumrq5TM.twitter
House of Commons Hansard: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2015-10-26/debates/15102612000003/ArrestsOfChineseProtesters
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.