- Title: Amnesty condemns 'disproportionate use of force' by Hong Kong police
- Date: 19th September 2019
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (FILE - JULY 21, 2019) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS SHIELDING THEMSELVES WITH UMBRELLAS TEARGAS FIRING TOWARDS PROTESTERS
- Embargoed: 3rd October 2019 17:08
- Keywords: report Amnesty International police violence use of force police Nicholas Bequelim pro-democracy activists Hong Kong protest
- Location: HONG KONG, CHINA / BANGKOK, THAILAND
- City: HONG KONG, CHINA / BANGKOK, THAILAND
- Country: Hong Kong
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA005AXBN9S7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Amnesty International accused Hong Kong police on Thursday (September 19) of torture and other abuses in their handling of more than three months of sometimes violent pro-democracy protests, but the police have said they had shown restraint.
Anti-government protesters, many masked and wearing black, have thrown petrol bombs at the police and central government offices, stormed the Legislative Council, blocked roads to the airport, trashed metro stations and set fires on the streets of the Chinese-ruled city.
Police have responded with tear gas, water cannon, rubber bullets, bean bags and several live rounds fired in the air, warning the crowds beforehand with a series of different coloured banners. They have also been seen beating protesters on the ground with batons.
Amnesty East Asia director Nicholas Bequelim told Reuters a field investigation had documented "disproportionate use of force" by the Hong Kong Police Force as well as mistreatment of detainees, including "a couple cases of torture".
Amnesty also said the investigation had found "exclusive evidence of torture and other ill-treatment in detention" and called into question the Hong Kong government's whole approach to the protest movement.
There appeared to be a "level of incompetence" among the police force, with some instances of teargas being deployed without proper justification or clear purpose to maintain public order, Bequelim said.
Amnesty called on the Hong Kong government to conduct a dialogue with the protesters, and establish an independent investigation committee to look into the accusations of excessive use of force by police.
(Production: Xihao Jiang, Joyce Zhou, Jiraporn Kuhakan, Alex Solum, Peter Blaza, Angie Teo)
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