Li Keqiang

Legislators reject security probe and support police

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 October, 2011, 12:00am


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Efforts by pan-democrat lawmakers to set up an independent Legislative Council committee to investigate the police security operation for the visit of Vice-Premier Li Keqiang in August have been rejected.

Instead, at a special meeting of the Legco security panel yesterday, members endorsed a motion that supported the police.

It also condemned the adoption of 'extreme and violent tactics' by protesters in recent years.

Yesterday's session, which lasted about eight minutes, was a continuation of a special meeting on September 12, which was adjourned without a vote on the motions.

At that meeting, officials rejected pan-democrats' calls for the government to launch an independent investigation into whether police abused their power while dealing with protesters during Li's visit.

Legislators also touched on the alleged detention of three students during protests at the campus in the September meeting.

A total of five motions were put to the vote at the resumed meeting yesterday. Four were from pan-democrats, including a call for the setting up of a select committee to look into the police actions and criticism of police chief Andy Tsang Wai-hung.

A motion moved by Lau Kong-wah, an executive councillor and a legislator from the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, supported the police 'in their protection of the safety of any political dignitaries visiting Hong Kong and maintenance of public order'. It also strongly condemned 'the adoption of extreme and violent tactics by radical protesters to harm the interests of others and the public in recent years'.

Lau's motion was passed 9-5, while the other motions were all voted down.

University of Hong Kong student, Samuel Li Shing-hong, one of the three students allegedly locked in a stairwell by police during the vice-premier's visit to the university on August 18, said the defeat of the pan-democrats' motions was no surprise.

The third-year politics undergraduate said yesterday: 'I was not too disappointed. It was something expected. The pan-democrats are too weak a force in the legislature and I have never thought that they can successfully press for a select committee to look into the incident.'

He and the two other students from Polytechnic University and Lingnan University are applying for legal aid to launch a civil case for detention and assault against the police commissioner.