Hong Kong: IFJ call for independent investigation into allegations of police brutality

The panel of foreign experts, tasked with ensuring the objectivity of the Independent Police Complaints’ Council's (IPCC) investigation, said they were stepping down as their concerns about the investigation went unresolved. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is highly concerned about the objectiveness and effectiveness of IPCC' investigation.

The people of Hong Kong have previously requested the Hong Kong government establish a commission to investigate the allegations of police brutality independently. Credit: DALE DE LA REY / AFP

According to a report on Wednesday a group of foreign experts recruited to ensure objectivity in the probe said in a statement that they would be formally standing aside after discussions with the IPCC failed to result in “any agreed process” through which the IPCC would be able to conduct an effective investigation.

The panel said IPCC lack the power, capacity and investigative capabilities necessary 'to match the scale of events and the standards required of an international police watching operating in a society that values freedoms and rights'.  The panel has now decided to stand aside after discussions with IPCC failed to reach a conclusion on how to conduct an effective investigation.

The IFJ and the people of Hong Kong have previously requested the Hong Kong government establish a commission to investigate the allegations of police brutality independently. The IFJ has recorded 86 police attacks on journalists since the protests began in April, ranging from verbal threats, to physical violence and arrest.

The IFJ said: “We are deeply concerned by the withdrawal of the foreign experts and their comments regarding the objectivity and capacity of the IPCC to conduct an independent investigation. After months of police violence targeting journalists it is crucial for authorities be held to account. The IFJ urges Hong Kong government launch an independent committee to investigative the excessive force used by Hong Kong police. Without an independent committee and investigation,  freedom of expression and press freedom will be in peril.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on 
+61 2 9333 0918

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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