Academics, religious leader propose inquiry into cause of demo, violence

Local | 25 Jun 2019 6:56 pm

Sixteen professional groups and a number of religious leaders have called for an independent inquiry into the anti-extradition law clashes on June 12 to investigate alleged police brutality as well as the actions of protesters, RTHK reports. 
Speaking at a joint press conference, Dixon Sing from the University of Science and Technology and a member of the Scholars' Alliance for Academic Freedom said there is a need for an impartial and independent inquiry. 
He said the scope of the investigation could include why tens of thousands of people demonstrated, how the clashes happened, the extent of violence and the amount of force used by the police and protesters, as well as the severity of injuries sustained by both sides.
The convener of the Progressive Lawyers Group, Billy Li, added that police do not have to worry about possibly implicating themselves when they testify at the inquiry. 
“Any evidence provided by a witness before the commission cannot be admitted to later proceedings - whether it is civil or criminal - against the witness. So any witness should be assured they will not give rise to any criminal liability just to present their case or evidence to the commission,” Li said. 
One of the religious leaders supporting an inquiry, retired Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen, also accused the government of not doing anything to cool tensions.
He said after the failed political reform process and Occupy campaign in 2014, officials were more interested in retribution against protesters, rather than society's reconciliation.

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