Request Permanent Court of Arbitration to Investigate Unlawful Force of HongKong Police
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(Update on 10/12/2019)
S.O.S FROM HONG KONG
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We are writing to request Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) to formally Investigate Hong Kong Police for unlawful use of force against citizens since 9 June 2019
Attn: Mr. Hugo H. Siblesz (Secretary-General of Permanent Court of Arbitration)
Dear Mr. Hugo Siblesz,
We are Hong Kong citizens. We are writing to ask for your help to formally investigate police brutality against citizens of Hong Kong in the recent protests since 9 June, 2019. A group of international experts appointed to help Hong Kong’s police watchdog conduct a study into the ongoing protests has said the body lacks power and urged for a more comprehensive investigation by an independent group with requisite powers. In early December, five foreign experts quit Hong Kong police probe, questioning its independence.
Hong Kong Police has turned the city into battlefield, whereas on the streets, in universities, shopping malls, public or private housing estates, etc. The power of police is akin to a military government.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Hong Kong took to the street since June to protest amid the tyranny of the government and the brutality of Hong Kong Police Force. The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) has been using excessive level of violence and firearms against citizens who participated in peaceful protests. Confirmed crowd control weapons and munitions in use including
Pepper spray, rubber baton, sponge grenades, live rounds, water cannon, tear gas and Long Range Acoustic Device(LRAD). The sole purpose of this level of extreme violence is “intent to injure”. It is believed to be a direct and flagrant violation the “UN Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.” Many unarmed protesters have been reportedly beaten or shot, some directly in their heads and eyes.
Since 9 June, we believe that Hong Kong Police Force had committed the following crimes:
1) Crime of Aggression
2) Conventional War Crimes
3) Crimes against Humanities
Hong Kong’s anti-government protesters have sustained for more than six months. Here are some figures:
1) A whopping 6,105 protest-related arrests have been made until now since June, surpassed the current total penal population in Hong Kong. Age ranged from 11 to 84. Among them, 2,393 individuals, or 40% of the total arrests are students. 978 people are being formally charged with inciting riot 450+ individuals have been reportedly committed suicide, thousands of people are missing, thousands of dead bodies were found since the social movement.
2) 16,000+ tear gas canisters were used
3) 20 live rounds, 10,000+ rubber bullets, 1,850+ foam bullets and 2,000+ beanbags bullets were fired.
4) 1,300 complaints against police officers have been filed, but no suspensions or investigations have ever been carried out. Record of the Hong Kong Police Brutality are as follow:
(A) Hong Kong Police Force Investigation Report
(B) Hong Kong Police Violence Database:
(C) Unlawful use of force by Hong Kong Police
(D) A Report of the 2019 Hong Kong Protest (written by Martin Purbrick, a former Royal Hong Kong Police officer whose service included Special Branch engaged in counter-terrorism intelligence)
(E) The Six-monthly Report on Hong Kong - 1.1.2019~30.6.2019 (by Parliament Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
(F) SURGEON PRESENTS EVIDENCE OF HONG KONG POLICE VIOLATIONS AGAINST MEDICAL WORKERS TO BRITISH PARLIAMENT AND CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL INQUIRY
Fourteen cases of unlawful use of force by Hong Kong Police Force:
1) Indiscriminate attacks and arrests.
Hong Kong Police shot and attacked protesters, reporters and volunteer medical crew. Reporters, first aiders are routinely roughed up, humiliated and sometimes arrested by the police.
2) Unlawful use of batons
Police officers use batons to beat people, no matter they are protesters or un-involved bystanders.
3) Improper use of riot control agents(RCA) - tear gas, pepper spray and water cannon, and long range acoustic device.
4) Arbitrary arrests people
Those who are being arrested ranged from age 11 to 84. After the police failed to arrest the frontline protesters, they in turn arrested peaceful protesters, bystanders, young people in general and people who wear black, and even professionals.
5) Lack of visible identification
During many of the Hong Kong Police operations, the HKPF neither wear any ID badge nor did they produce any warrant. They had infringed the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure, and neglected the ROE (Rule of Engagement).
6) Imposed restrictions on journalists and medics during the protests.
7) Brutal beatings, torture and sexual abuses of protesters in police stations and detention centres.
Sexual abuses in the police’s San Uk Ling Detention Centre (dark terror cell) which is located in an area close to the China-Hong Kong Border. It was reported that some students were tortured after arrest, leaving bone fractures.
8) Raptor squad members went undercover to target frontline Hong Kong protesters These police disguised themselves as protesters. But in reality, they arrest vulnerable targets such as young girls and boys on the streets in the name of action to arrest "extremely violent rioters".
9) Rumors of police killing of people
Since the occurrence of the 8.31 Prince Edward station incident, the "police killing people" rumors have been heard, and there have been many suspicious floating corpses, Although the police denied twice, rumor is still persist.
10) Inconsistent and unproportional law enforcement
11) Hong Kong becomes a police city in the name of law enforcement. HKPF are allowed to extend their action of violence and brutality anywhere, anytime.
12) The HKPF has been accused of spreading a climate of fear. It has conducted hospital arrests, which had prompted protesters to become reluctant to go for treatment in public hospitals, fearing they may get arrested by the police. Medical professionals may also be charged by the police for offering treatment to the wounded.
13) Trashy daily police press conference. Police lying to the public all the time.
It would not be surprising if they could find explanations, if not excuses, for the brutal force used and they would probably, if not certainly, put blames on the protesters for assembling illegally.
14) Without any conscious of damage cause by the unlawful and excessive use of force, Hong Kong police continues to operate with unlimited power to enact laws.
Beijing Stands Behind HKPF
For weeks, millions or thousands of citizens have come out to express their dissatisfaction towards the current political system and the performance of the government. Yet, the government chose to shift the responsibility of the political turmoil to the protesters and condemned violence selectively. They are turning a blind eye to the voice of the people, while pandering to the “white terror” and police brutality in Hong Kong.
Despite the popular outcry from Hong Kong indiv iduals of different sectors, urging the Police Commissioner to issue an immediate official apology for its wilful attacks against civilians. Public demand once again had not been heard. The reputation of HKPC is forever wrecked.
Although we repeatedly demand the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) to set up an independent inquiry to investigate HKPF’s misconduct and its gross abuse of power, once again the voice of the Hong Kong people is ignored. We seriously doubt the independence, integrity and effectiveness of IPCC.
More peaceful rallies and protests will be held openly to condemn police excessive use of force as part of the ongoing anti-extradition bill protests. The Hong Kong people reiterated their 5 major demands:
(1) Independent inquiry on police brutality
(2) Immediate release all protesters
(3) Retract the characterisation of peaceful protests as “riots"
(4) Universal suffrage
(5) Reform Hong Kong Police, disband the existing Police Forces
We are deeply worried that this unlawful use of force by the HKPF will persist. More unarmed peaceful protesters, mostly young people, will continued to be hurt and sustain a disproportionate level of injuries, some of which can be long term.
We seek for arbitration to end the violence that erupted following the anti-extradition bill in 2019. Human rights, political accountability and democracy should be introduced and put into the Hong Kong Police Ordinance. Police force is a major front on which these normative reforms were to take place. These reforms should seek to break the historical reliance of the political elite of Hong Kong/Mainland China on the police as merely an instrument of elite power and repression; to improve the account-and support the evolution of more a responsive, public-focused policing.
We implore the Permanent Court of Arbitration to take this case seriously and take immediate action of it. The Hong Kong government and the police force have completely failed to serve its people. It is only with the intervention of international organisations like the PCA, we will have a hope to restore order and peace on our streets in a place we call home.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Hong Kong Citizens
(photo credit: Hong Kong Free Press)
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