Lawmakers and civil rights groups yesterday dismissed a government report to the United Nations on the human rights situation in Hong Kong as a mere 'propaganda pamphlet'. The report, prepared for the UN Human Rights Council's first periodic review for China and Hong Kong, was criticised at a meeting of the legislature's constitutional affairs panel as being equivalent to a tourist brochure devoid of any effort to analyse the situation in the city. The government report, which pan-democrats say is supposed to examine human rights issues and not just the existence of certain rights, begins by stating that a consultation document, 'was sent to a broad spectrum of the community, including the Legislative Council'. Undersecretary for constitutional and mainland affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen confirmed the document had been sent out for comment in the first two weeks of September, a period that overlapped with the Legislative Council elections. The eight-page report goes on to explain the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 'was established on July 1, 1997', that 'the chief executive is the head' and that Hong Kong operates under the common law system. The remaining six pages are devoted to a list of various human rights-related legal instruments and institutions, such as the new Independent Police Complaints Council Ordinance, and praises the political appointment system, implemented in 2002, as a 'major step forward in the system of governance'. Mr Tam said the report was necessarily brief because UN procedures limited country reports to a maximum of about 20 pages. Given Hong Kong formed only a section of the report submitted by China, which also includes a section on Macau, the government only had several pages to work with. But civil rights groups and lawmakers criticised the report's lack of analysis on how institutions were working to prevent abuses. The vice-chairwoman of the Democratic Party, Emily Lau Wai-hing, said: 'Even if you are only given three pages, you can still tell the truth. Wow, this makes it seem like heaven on Earth here. If it was so peaceful, then why didn't [the government] do the consultation?' She was referring to the delayed consultation on political reform announced last week. Law Yuk-kai, director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, who was invited to speak at the panel meeting, said the 'propaganda pamphlet' misled readers into thinking a thorough consultation had been conducted before the report was drafted. The chairman of the League of Social Democrats, Wong Yuk-man, said the report failed to mention any of the recent concerns about police abuse of power in conducting strip searches. Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Wing-tat was unhappy with the claim that there had been an extensive consultation before the report's publication. 'We know that all your consultations are just fake consultations,' Mr Lee said, 'but two weeks? That's so fake it's ridiculous.' Mr Tam stressed it was the first time Hong Kong had drafted a report for the review, and said the government would try to arrange for a fuller consultation next time.