Rights group slams police

Local | Daphne Li and Jane Cheung 13 Aug 2019

Human rights group and protesters called police brutality on Sunday a "humanitarian crisis," saying their action demonstrated a counterexample to policing.

Civil Press Conference - a conference reflecting the voices of Lihkg forum netizens - criticized the police for firing tear gas indoors against warnings by the tear gas manufacturer.

Another spokesman said Hong Kong is now in a humanitarian crisis where protesters and civilians are abused and attacked by the government and police.

Some police are calling protesters "cockroaches," a dehumanization tactic which was once used by Adolf Hitler's regime to justify the genocide of the Jews, he said.

Some police showed "intention to kill" by firing at protesters at close range and at the head, they said, turning Hong Kong into a "field of torture" overnight.

The group also urged Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to stop repeating the rhetoric of a "deteriorating economy," but to respond to core problems and protesters' five demands.

Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting raised concerns over how the police sent undercover officers to infiltrate protesters, saying no one would know to what extent these officers may have incited other protesters in their illegal behavior in recent clashes.

Lam criticized police for shooting pepper rounds at close range at protesters at the Tai Koo MTR station. He also pressed police to explain whether they used lethal force against a protester in Tsim Sha Tsui, who was injured in the eye.

"Police should have aimed at the largest part of the body. Why did they shoot at her head? It could have killed her if the bullet pierced through the eye and entered the brain," he said.

Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, who will be visiting New York today to meet with international human rights groups, said he would inform these groups about SAR police's abuse of power against protesters in recent months.

Human rights group Amnesty International Hong Kong condemned the police for using excessive force in dispersing the crowd on Sunday.

"Firing at retreating protesters in confined areas where they had little time to leave goes against the purported objective of dispersing a crowd," the group stated.

Asked about the Tsim Sha Tsui protester's case, National People's Congress Standing Committee member Tam Yiu-chung said police can make mistakes when executing orders.

"We have to consider that sometimes the exhausted police could misjudge in an instant of decision-making and they could shoot at the wrong target," he said.

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