12/12/2019, 14.59
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Foreign experts leave government commission of inquiry into the Hong Kong police violence

The government wanted to integrate them into the Independent Council for Complaints Against the Police (IPCC) to give more value and objectivity to the investigation. But for experts, the IPCC does not have sufficient powers to act freely.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Five foreign experts, invited by the Hong Kong government to verify the complaints against police violence in these six months of anti-extradition demonstrations, have left en masse because they judge the group incapable of conducting an effective inquiry.

Since the demonstrations began last June, there has been a crescendo of police violence, accused of excessive use of force and collusion with mafia groups. The anti-extradition movement, many NGOs and Christian leaders have continuously asked for an independent commission to be prepared to investigate the violence of the police. But the head of the executive has always refused, saying that there is already an independent Council for complaints against the police (Independent Police Complaints Council, Ipcc), constituted by the government.

Faced with the pressures of the population, the government promised an IPCC inquiry and to give more value and objectivity to the results, inviting some members from foreign democratic countries to join it. These included a British inspector and a New Zealand judge. But yesterday they all resigned.

According to foreign experts, the IPCC lacks the necessary powers that can satisfy "the standards required by Hong Kong citizens". The IPCC cannot interrogate witnesses, nor force the police to deliver evidence. Moreover,  inquiries can only be directed at single isolated cases and not the entire police force.

The abandonment of the IPCC by experts shows that the Council has some flaws. This makes the request of the population for an independent inquiry, supported by 70% of Hong Kong citizens, more urgent.

The government has stated that it will study the recommendations received and decide what to do next. The IPCC should have presented the results of the investigation by the end of next January

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