Oral Statement on the situation in Hong Kong

18/09/2019
Statement

Madam Vice-President,

Over the past three months, FIDH and its member organization Human Rights in China have been following with great concern the Hong Kong authorities’ response to the large-scale demonstrations triggered by the government’s introduction of an extradition bill in the Legislative Council.

In many instances, members of law enforcement agencies failed to adhere to the principles of necessity and proportionality in the policing of those assemblies, which were predominantly peaceful.

The sporadic acts of physical violence against individuals and destruction of property perpetrated by some of the protestors should be appropriately addressed by the legal system. However, abundant evidence has emerged of incidents involving the excessive use of force by police against protestors. This includes the indiscriminate use of tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and, at least on one occasion, the firing of live ammunition. Numerous instances of police beating protestors and journalists have also been well-documented. Law enforcement agencies have also stood by while by-standers were physical attacked by Triad-related or pro-China elements.

We support Hong Kong civil society’s calls on the government to set up an independent commission tasked with conducting swift, thorough, and impartial investigations into all reports of excessive use of force by police in order to identify and sanction those responsible.

We also urge Hong Kong authorities to end the practice of the prior designation of assemblies as “unlawful”, and the use of such designation in order to ban demonstrations or take legal action against its participants.

Thank you,

Read more
statement