The police commission can not afford to investigate


Protesters protect themselves from tear gas with umbrellas in Hong Kong on November 2, 2019. – Aidan Marzo / SOPA Images / Sipa U / SIPA

Hong Kong police monitoring commission can not afford to investigate how police have handled pro-democracy protests that have rocked the country for five months, according to international experts appointed by the government .

This embarrassing finding for the authorities comes as new clashes have on Sunday evening police and demonstrators in several neighborhoods.

A group of masked protesters ransacked a Chinese restaurant and police used a water cannon against protesters blocking streets in the Mongkok district.

One of the protesters' requests

The rallies escalate more and more into violent clashes with the police, but Beijing refuses to respond favorably to the five demands of the pro-democracy movement.

In addition to the introduction of direct universal suffrage, the protesters call for an independent investigation into the behavior of the police who, after more than 24 consecutive weekends, is vilified by a large part of the population.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has repeatedly rejected requests for an independent investigation, saying the current oversight body, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), is on height of the task. Protesters argue instead that the IPCC does not have the means to complete its investigation.

A group of independent experts with overwhelming results

In September, Carrie Lam appointed a group of independent experts, British, New Zealand and Canadian, to advise this monitoring commission.

This committee of experts published on November 8 a damning report on the inability of this commission to carry out its mission, saying that an independent investigation would be more appropriate.

It underlines in particular the "insufficient powers" of the IPCC to "conduct the necessary independent inquiry" in the face of "the scale of the events" and in accordance with "the standards required for an international supervisory body operating in a city that respects the rights". and freedoms ".

Embarrassing conclusions for Carrie Lam

The commission said that if its resources were increased, the IPCC might be able to publish an interim report "with limited but sufficient facts" on the reasons for the demonstrations and how they were managed by the authorities.

But she said there were "arguments" for a "deeper and more thorough investigation … by an independent body with the necessary powers".

This report, not available on the IPCC website, was posted on Twitter on Saturday night by a member of this committee, British academic Clifford Stott. Asked by AFP, the Hong Kong government and police did not respond to a request for comment.

These findings are embarrassing for Carrie Lam whose popularity rating is at its lowest.

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