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  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 9:47am
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HUMAN RIGHTS

Hong Kong police chief rejects claims in US report on human rights

Andy Tsang takes issue with a US report on human rights that highlights local criticism

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 April, 2013, 2:16am
 

An official US report on human rights in Hong Kong has drawn attention to local concerns over freedom of assembly and claims that police are turning to aggressive, abusive tactics.

Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung yesterday rejected those accusations as unfounded.

The report, compiled by the US State Department and sent to Congress, looks at human rights around the world. On Hong Kong, the report stated that while the government "generally respected" the rights of freedom of assembly in practice, "activists and pan-democratic legislators expressed concern that the government took a more restrictive view of protests at the central government liaison office".

"Demonstrators continued to claim that their ability to protest had become increasingly difficult due to Hong Kong Police Commissioner Andy Tsang," the report said. "Some activists also alleged that police faced no penalty for making arrests that ultimately were not prosecuted or were dismissed by the courts."

Tsang said that of about 7,500 public events held last year, only 40 involved police arrests.

"Nearly 70 per cent [of the arrests] were made because other people's rights or property were affected," he said. "The police took action on reports. I totally disagree with any remarks that say the police suppress freedom of expression or assembly."

Earlier, police sent a serious crime unit from the Sha Tin district crime squad to investigate a case involving graffiti that said "Xi Jinping Go To Hell", which appeared on a wall at Kam Kwai House, Kam Fung Court, Ma On Shan. A man was charged with criminal damage and will appear in Sha Tin Court on Wednesday.

The report said the Basic Law "limits the right of residents to change their government peacefully. The government stated that the current method of selecting [functional constituency] legislators did not conform to principles of universal suffrage, but it took no steps to eliminate the FCs".

The report cited complaints over the South China Morning Post's handling of a June 7 report on the death of dissident Li Wangyang as an example of what some media watchers said was a troubling sign for press freedom.

Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai said the 2012 report levelled "straightforward and severe criticism" against the city's human rights condition.

A government spokesman said the advice of the Department of Justice would be sought if police intended to press charges against anyone arrested over public order.

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This article is now closed to comments

jayb
you got me wrong. i am saying, US police is WORSE than China's where our police regularly beat up, punch out citizens. some unlucky civilians even got shot at, killed by trigger happy police. if you are black or latinos, the police brutality is even worse. you never see that in Hong Kong where police seldom take the gun out of holster. the problem in our PDs is so bad that many PDs are under federal monitor mandate to reduce cop violence. truth is, Rodney King type of incident is very common and rampant. bottom line, i trust a hong kong police officer a lot more than any police officers in US where cops=licensed thugs. finally, i mean this serious, just look at their body shape... all fat and obese, telling you something about their personal discipline and hygiene.
blue
Pretty much every single government in the world does this. I really hate it, but it's true.
gkuhl
>> Tsang said [...] last year, only 40 involved police arrests. "Nearly 70 per cent [of the arrests] were made because other people's rights or property were affected," <<
And what was the reason for the remaining 30% (12) arrests?
hkbulib2
The United States has a lot of chutzpah accusing others of not respecting rights of assembly and freedom of speech after the way it treated the Occupy Wall Street protestors and university students recently. In the US, something like the Falong Gong would have been cleared out years ago.
chaz_hen
Yes, the US Gov't does have its moments of "chutzpah" but at least its citizens can vote out representatives that they feel are not properly representing them.
jayb
US, religious freedom? try to go to any US airport and tell everybody there you are a devout muslim.... -:)
gabyleung
It's hard to tell who's right and who's wrong. Pro-Democrats who take things too far, and often result to hurting the police, who by the way are just doing their jobs. Or the chief of police, probably another one of China's lapdogs.
But all the same, whoever wrote the graffiti "Xi Jingping go to hell", I SALUT YOU BRO.
jayb
you've got me. gracias.
VicSexton
that was going well until you mentioned the FG.

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