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Hong Kong protests: Police watchdog clears officers over crackdown

The police watchdog of Hong Kong, Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC), in a report has...

👤 H K Badal15 May 2020 10:54 PM GMT
Hong Kong protests: Police watchdog clears officers over crackdown
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The police watchdog of Hong Kong, Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC), in a report has largely absolved police officers from charges of wrongdoing during democracy protests last year.

The report said officers had acted within guidelines but called for a review of the use of tear gas on the protesters.

The IPCC criticised demonstrators for accusing police of misconduct while they ignored their own wrongdoing.

Although the territory's leader, Carrie Lam, welcomed the report but the opposition and human rights groups have rejected it, saying it as a whitewash.

The protests started in June last year against government's plans to allow extradition to mainland China, but within weeks it developed into a broader call for political change.

Violent clashes between police and activists almost paralysed life in Hong Kong. Law enforcers everyday fired live bullets and charged baton on the protesters, who retaliated by attacking officers and throwing petrol bombs.

The IPCC did not address allegations of misconduct against individual officers during months of unrest when over 8,000 protestors were arrested.

Making comment on the report, pro-democracy protesters and politicians accused the IPCC of turning a blind eye to excesses, and demanded independent judicial inquiry.

But Carrie Lam rejected calls for such independent investigation, saying that the IPCC was capable of conducting an independent investigation.