Website details 'police abuses'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 January, 2009, 12:00am

A human rights group has launched a website to highlight abuses of police powers and tell people their civil rights when dealing with officers.

Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, which released a report highlighting 10 incidents it claims to be related to abuse of power by the police last year, warned that the problem had become worse. It said it would raise its concerns with the United Nations during a human rights conference in Geneva next month.

The new website - - lists the general rights of citizens when dealing with police officers. It says, for example, that a resident does not necessarily need to answer questions by a police officer when he or she is intercepted on the street, other than to provide accurate personal particulars or present his or her identity card.

The website also carries the Police General Orders, which state what an officer can do and what he or she is not authorised to do. It also carries hyperlinks to other sites on filing complaints against the force.

Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai said yesterday the situation regarding police abuse of power in Hong Kong was worrying. He cited a survey by the University of Hong Kong, released last month, which found that 15 per cent rated police performance as 'unsatisfactory', up from 8 per cent in the previous poll.

'We cannot solely rely on the police force to rectify the problem,' he said. 'So we launched a website to educate the public on what our rights are.'

Mr Law said his group would send a delegation to Geneva next month to raise the issue during a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.

In response, a police spokesman said: 'We should not say police have abused their powers just based on some one-sided accusations. Over the past years, an overwhelming majority of the people have been supportive to police. And there are also sufficient channels for citizens to voice their comments on the work of police.'