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Hong Kong: full investigation into 'excessive' policing of protests needed

Heavy-handed policing was a major feature of the authorities' response to the protests © Jimmy Lam @everydayaphoto

Carrie Lam’s withdrawal of extradition bill welcomed, but public trust in authorities ‘seriously damaged’

Responding to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s announcement today of an official withdrawal of the highly controversial Extradition Law Amendment Bill, Man-kei Tam, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, said: 

“While the formal withdrawal of this dangerous bill - at long last - is welcome, this announcement cannot change the fact that the Hong Kong authorities have chosen to suppress protests in a grossly unlawful way that has seriously damaged the people’s trust and sense of legitimacy of the government.  

“A thorough and independent investigation into unnecessary and excessive use of force by police at protests is now needed more than ever. 

“The problems with the Extradition Bill were clear from the start, and the Hong Kong government should have withdrawn it months ago. Instead, it chose to meet protests with tear gas and rubber bullets, inflaming tensions and leading to months of unrest. 

“We continue to call on all governments to suspend transfers of less-lethal ‘crowd control’ equipment to Hong Kong until a full investigation is carried out and adequate safeguards are put in place. 

“Today’s announcement is a small step in the right direction, but it will take much more to show the world that the Hong Kong authorities are truly committed to upholding human rights, and send a clear message that people in Hong Kong can still enjoy these rights irrespective of their political beliefs.” 

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