• Wed
  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 5:27am
NewsHong Kong
LAW ENFORCEMENT

Police decry watchdog's description of pro-force rally as a 'political event'

Objections filed against police complaints council chief as dozens of retired officers plan second protest following Mong Kong mayhem

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 August, 2013, 5:40am

Police officers are stepping up their opposition to remarks made by a senior official from the force's watchdog describing a pro-police rally last weekend as a political event.

Dozens have filed complaints, including to the Ombudsman, over the words of Ricky Chu Man-kin, secretary general of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC).

Meanwhile, up to 40 retired officers were planning a new protest in the city following the mayhem that erupted at Sunday's Mong Kok rally. They intended to gather at the IPCC's office, although no date had been fixed yet, said former policeman Yeung Yiu-ming.

One council member hit back at the complaints, calling the force's official statement on Thursday "incomplete" in denying the political nature of the rally.

Officers accused the independent supervisory body of failing to maintain impartiality. "It's like the judge coming out before the trial and saying these guys are guilty," said former senior superintendent Kevin Laurie, who complained yesterday to the IPCC.

Laurie compared Chu's comment to a "public trial". He said Chu should apologise to the public and should steer clear of any subsequent investigation into how the force defined the event.

The pro-police rally was held on Sunday in Mong Kok, triggered by teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze swearing at officers last month.

It drew off-duty and retired officers, believed to number in the hundreds, and also prompted a counter-rally in support of Lam. Both events together attracted a 2,800-strong crowd to the area.

Chu said on Tuesday that the rally was of a political nature.

By yesterday morning, the IPCC had received 64 complaints against its secretary general.

The Office of the Ombudsman received fewer than 10 complaints, although the IPCC does not fall within the remit of the Ombudsman.

The IPCC said any staff member who was involved in a complaint would not take part in handling the criticism. It declined to comment on the matter, to ensure the impartiality of its complaint handling mechanism.

On Thursday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor threw their weight behind the police. That same day, the police issued a statement saying the rally was not a political activity restricted by the general orders that govern officers' behaviour.

IPCC member Eric Cheung Tat-ming said the statement failed to address other important aspects of the force's regulations.

Cheung, a legal scholar at the University of Hong Kong, cited the general orders, which say an officer "shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties, or which is likely to give rise to the impression among members of the public that it may so interfere".

"It is not limited to political activities," he said. "Also, the regulation applies to events that could lead to the public having the impression that the force's impartiality is compromised."

Tung Yiu-ming, vice-chairman of the Junior Police Officers' Association, said it would not write to the council to express concerns over Chu's comment. "We dropped the matter after receiving full support from the police management and the chief executive," he added.

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This article is now closed to comments

Shadow
Corrupt and fail SAR police force now even acting on instructions from their real father/master.
the sun also rises
Professor Cheung Tat-ming was rightly to state that according to the General Orders of the Police Force,'a police officer shall at all times (including off-duty of and retiring of course) abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties , or which is likely to give rise to give impression to the members of the public that it may so interfere'---then it is crystally clear that the attendance of the off-duty cops ( in the number of hundreds) at the August 4th rally at the pedestrian-only zone in Mong Kok has breached the General Orders ! Those cops who were photoed should be duly warned by the authorities concerned.
yellow_lynx_cat
Even if this is a political campaign, the rally is a result of a controversy over Police's fairness in handling the row between Falun Gong and Youth Care Association. Any officer participating in the rally is taking a side and the public will question if the police can carry out their duties without bias and with impartiality.
( Youth Care Association and Hong Kong Action are connected groups, Hong Kong Action labeled itself as a "political group" on Facebook, and changed it just days after August 4 rally)
daniel18
The prevailence of fuxing teacher Lam wai sze put hk into hell! Go to school and teach the student what the fuxk! Hk next generation relies on u! What the fuxk, bitxh and bastaxd is what you teach! We dont need the rule of law in hk! Whenever u commit crimes, saying fuxking language is what we do! Going to work late, the boss tell you not to and give u a chance, just say "fuxk you, bastaxd". Lam really set a good example to the new direction of teaching.
dynamco
think on this
the next time you are hanging out of a crashed vehicle or people are looting your home or robbers are raping your sister, call on the foul mouthed b itch to come and help you God knows what she teaches the students
She should have been arrested for inciting a riot
If there was an ensuing riot and someone died she would be arrested for murder or at least manslaughter
Get real
The police were too soft She should have been arrested for breach of the peace
Hong Kong is one of the best policed places in the world so recognize the right to be able walk around at night in comparative safety compared to other world cities
henleyhk
Ah, the smell of tyranny! I suppose we had better become used to it :(
Dai Muff
The people inciting aggression that day were members of a pro-Beijing organisation trying to deprive Hong Kongers of freedom of religion. You cannot rewrite history here. Yet.
daniel18
Lee chauk yan political aim set by the western countries is to mess up hk! Without western financial backup, he is nowhere! After messing up hk, he will go to live in other countries for sure!
henleyhk
Definition: po·lit·i·cal: (Adjective)
"Of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country.
Of or relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politics."
It is no surprise that the HK police have become politicised, highly regrettable though it is. To pretend that a protest against the rights of a schoolteacher to free speech is not political is so laughable as to be lamentable, and shows just how far away HK is from a modern free society. Shame on the HK police and their apologists.
daniel18
How shollow you are! According to basic law article 27, hkers have freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. I dont see any reasons why police cant take part in this activity! The reason of this activity is to correct lam wai sze fuxking act!

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