Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Hong Kong lawmaker urges United Nations to probe growing 'police brutality'

A university student wearing safety gear talks during a strike on the first day of school at the Chinese University in Hong Kong on Monday Sept. 2 2019 Hong Kong lawmaker urges UN to probe growing 'police brutality'
Patty Aguilar | 18 September, 2019, 13:05

The movement began as a protest against an extradition law but have mushroomed into a months-long rebellion amid fears of creeping Chinese influence in Hong Kong, which is meant to enjoy a special status.

Photo: Darius Chan Ho Shun/CHRF.

With the unrest in Hong Kong showing no sign of abating despite limited concessions by the city's government, attention has shifted to what the West can or should do to influence the situation. Wong appears before a USA congressional commission Tuesday to press for robust US action in Hong Kong. "The systematic and calculated violent acts of this group have never been condoned by all Hong Kongers", Ho and Wu said.

"Beijing shouldn't have it both ways, reaping all the economic benefits of Hong Kong's standing in the world while eradicating our sociopolitical identity", said 22-year-old Joshua Wong, one of the most prominent figures in an otherwise leaderless and faceless movement.

He warned that Chinese President Xi Jinping may take harsher action before next month's 70th anniversary of communist China. At a press conference Tuesday, Carrie Lam said her team will be launching open dialogue discussions with members of the public as soon as next week.

"Carrie Lam should at least agree to two demands: retract the bill and set up an independent investigation committee".

According to the brief, published in the PR industry paper The Holmes Report, the government wanted a firm to "address negative perceptions in key markets overseas to maintain confidence in Hong Kong", and to "underscore the strengths and attributes that differentiate Hong Kong from other cities in the region and bring out the success of one country, two systems".

"That deadline is closer to us than it appears; there's no return", Wong said.

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Hong Kong protesters have rallied outside the USA consulate in a bid to gain worldwide support.

"Now is the time for the free world to stand in solidarity with Hong Kong", said Joshua Wong, a student leader during the 2014 Umbrella Movement who has been jailed repeatedly for his activism.

He said he hopes the Donald Trump administration will follow the lead of Congress and speak more forcefully in support of the protesters.

An anti-government protester throws a Molotov cocktail during a demonstration near Central Government Complex in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.

Beijing and Lam have already accused the United States of interference and China summoned Germany's ambassador after Wong visited the European power. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who have both appealed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass the bill.

As a live stream of the hearing played on YouTube, the comments page flooded with comments coming in every second urging the U.S.to "liberate Hong Kong". Police responded by firing volleys of tear gas and using water cannon trucks to spray chemical-laced water as well as blue liquid that helped them identify offenders, in a repeat of confrontational scenes from the last several weeks of the protests.

"We are really anxious about the situation, because there is obviously an escalation of police brutality", Chan told AFP.

By Sunday evening, the running battles between anti-government protesters and police had spilled into street brawls between rival groups in the districts of Fortress Hill and North Point further east on Hong Kong island, where men in white T-shirts, believed to be pro-Beijing supporters, some wielding hammers, rods and knives, clashed with anti-government activists.

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