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Denise Ho speaking before her gig in London in October 2019 (Copyright: Brian McGleenon, The Humanoid News)

The IPCC report is further evidence of what Denise Ho describes as ‘Hong Kong becoming a police state’

Hong Kong is in the front-line of a global fight, were the CCP are trying to make the world conform to their set of values

Denise Ho

HONG KONG police have been exonerated and their brutal response to the pro-democracy movement “justified” by an allegedly independent complaints commission that further reveals what Denise Ho described as “Beijing making the world conform to their regime”.

The Independent Police Complaints Council published their report on Friday into alleged abuse by law enforcement officers during last year’s pro-democracy demonstrations, the findings have highlighted again the deep infiltration of Beijing’s interests in the one of the world’s financial hubs.

Friday’s Independent Police Complaints Council, IPCC, report was called “A Thematic Study by the IPCC on the Public Order Events arising from the Fugitive Offenders Bill since June 2019 and the Police Actions in Response”.

The Five Demands of the Umbrella Movement

The report stated the protests, which stemmed from the pro-democracy movement’s five demands, were the “most challenging public order situation in a generation”.

A discernible bias is revealed in the report as it charges the pro-democracy movement with attempting to use the allegations of brutality as a political weapon, and portrays the protesters as proto-insurgents.

Many in Hong Kong had anticipated the IPCC findings would act as a watershed and allow for an opportunity justice, truth and reconciliation, but their hopes have been in vain.

Stand with Hong Kong

Both Stand with Hong Kong and Hong Kong Watch labelled the report a “white-wash”, that has only served to exonerate the police and act as a distraction from the many miscarriages of justice by authorities throughout the months of protests that culminated in several university sieges at the end of 2019. The pro-democracy groups have warned the vindication of police brutality will act as a green-light for future draconian measures by Hong Kong authorities, whom many claim are acting in line with Beijing’s long-term strategy and ignoring the “one country, two systems” policy.

Those who chaired the IPCC report did not have sufficient investigative powers to make an effective judgement on police conduct, for instance, they were prohibited from calling witnesses.

Furthermore, in December 2019 a group of international experts withdrew from their advisory role in the report citing that the IPCC did not have investigative powers that were independent of the Hong Kong executive.

Many in the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement have argued that the IPCC report is redundant at because of its connections with Carrie Lam’s executive, it will always be compromised and justice will be

The Yuen Long attack

A mob of over 100 men dressed in white t-shirts indiscriminately attack civilians on  21 to 22 July 2019 at the Yuen Long MTR station in Hong Kong.

A large group of men armed with clubs and with links to the triads gathered in Yuen Long, a suburb on Hong Kong’s border with China, on the night of July 21 they ambushed pro-democracy demonstrators who were returning from the centre of Hong Kong.

Their cowardly act of violence against pregnant women, the elderly and teenagers was commended by one of Hong Kong’s senior lawmaker’s the Beijing backed Junius Ho. A known prominent of increasing ties with China and known for fermenting violent attacks against the pro-democracy movement, such as calling for protesters to be killed. Mr Ho has frequently framed the movement’s demand for autonomy and democracy and rule of law as an act of “war” against the state. Arguing on Hong Kong Commercial Radio that, “if we’re talking about Hong Kong independence, that means war. What’s wrong with killing enemies in a war?” On the night when the attack happened, when the white-shirts were rallying to show their support for the government, Junius Ho showed up and began shaking the hands of the thugs and thanking them for their hard work.

Hong Kong (credit: Diliff, GNU Free Documentation License)
Hong Kong (credit: Diliff, GNU Free Documentation License)

The report has ignored evidence that the police deliberately delayed deploying riot personnel to the area for 40 minutes, and when they did show up it was conveniently one minute after the attackers had left the vaccinity.

The brutal attack resulted in 45 injuries, that included the elderly, one pregnant woman and teenagers.

The police statement at the time only concluded that “there could be some room for improvement in the deployments”.

The IPCC report instead choose to focus on the actions of the protesters, who they described as lawless, violent, vandals.

The report stated: “The protests were accompanied by a scale of lawlessness with a degree of violence and vandalism not seen in Hong Kong since the riots of 1967,” the IPCC report says. “While labeling police action as ‘brutality’, the protesters seem to disregard their own violence, vandalism and vigilantism.”

Magnitsky-style Sanctions

In the absence of transparent coming from the IPCC, pro-democracy group, Stand With Hong Kong, has called for the international community to use Magnitsky-style sanctions, stating this is the only effective tool to ensure police abuses are halted.

Stand with Hong Kong said: “The IPCC’s report is a whitewash of the events of the past year. The thrust of the report pins the blame for escalating tensions between Hongkongers and the Hong Kong Police Force on alleged ‘misunderstandings’ and ‘speculation’, ignoring the role of the HKPF as handmaiden to the administration’s crackdown on free speech and protest. The failure of this purported ‘independent’ investigation commission to hold the HKPF to account over its violent, repressive actions, demonstrates the inadequacies of the current system. It also shows that what was promised under the Basic Law, and guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration––that is, respect for civil liberties, human rights, and autonomy––is being eroded by the day.  

“They lie to us, we know they’re lying, they know we know they’re lying, but they keep lying to us. It is time the world stands up and stops pretending to believe perpetrators of human rights abuses, and hold them accountable for their crimes.”

Hong Kong Watch

Hong Kong Watch, a group which promotes human rights, freedom and the rule of law in Hong Kong, added:

Benedict Rogers, co-founder and Chair of Hong Kong Watch said: “The Independent Police Complaints Council’s report is a shocking whitewash which shows that there is no viable mechanism in Hong Kong to ensure accountability either for police brutality or police complicity with violence by criminal thugs. With rights groups reporting incidents of torture in detention and routine excessive use of force, it is now time for the international community to establish an independent inquiry, to hold the perpetrators of violations of human rights in Hong Kong to account. The introduction of targeted Magnitsky sanctions on those responsible for such violations should then be considered,”

Carrie Lam’s response to the IPCC report

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has celebrated the IPCC’s report as comprehensive, objective, fact-based and weighty.

Mrs Lam said: “When the IPCC decided to undertake a proactive study in July last year, I welcomed its decision at that time and pledged that the Government would fully co-operate with the IPCC.

“The IPCC has examined a large volume of information and has made detailed and objective representation of facts in the report. The report is comprehensive, objective, fact-based and weighty.”

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