HRN Submits Joint Report with ‘Sounds of the Silenced’ to the UN Human Rights Committee on Police Abuses in Hong Kong

On 22 April 2020, Human Rights Now (HRN) and Sounds of the Silenced (SOS) co-submitted a shadow report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee for its 129th Session concerning the implementation of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in Hong Kong, and the observed violations of human rights by the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) amid the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong since June 2019. On the same day, the report was accepted and released on the official site for the session (direct link), where you can download and read it. The report is also available in pdf format with a small fix for the formatting (the text is identical to the submitted version) from the following link: HRN_SOS-Joint_Report_on_Police_Abuses_in_Hong_Kong.pdf.

The report primarily covers five thematic issues: 1) excessive restrictions to the freedom of peaceful assembly leading to arbitrary arrests and detention; 2) the current compulsory Notice of No Objection notification regime which suppresses freedom of assembly and expression; 3) the HKPF use of excessive force; 4) the inadequate and questionable mechanism in processing complaints against police, and 5) infringements of media and academic freedom. These are the areas in which both HRN and SOS consider that the Hong Kong government has fallen short in compliance with its obligations under the ICCPR, including Articles 2, 7, 9, 19, 21 and 25.

SOS in Hong Kong collected evidence to support the report’s claims not only from second-hand sources, but also from testimony directly taken from 11 victims who suffered from police brutality; and the report includes three case studies. This evidence vividly depicts the actual disproportionate tactics employed by the HKPF in the protests, which have also been documented by news coverage with photos and videos, further supporting the allegations.

In the report, Human Rights Now and Sounds of the Silenced urge the Hong Kong Government to set up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of serious infringements undertaken by the HKPF against citizens’ civil and political rights.