Open letter to Mr CY Leung, from Amnesty International Hong Kong
Dear Chief Executive Mr.Chun Ying Leung
Oct 5,14 HKT 21:00
Tens of thousands of peaceful protesters have been staging pro-democracy mass sit-ins in the centre of Hong Kong. Despite a police crackdown on them, involving the widespread use of tear gas on Sunday, 28 September, the protesters continue to gather peacefully. Their non-violent and civic-minded approach – recycling waste and cleaning up the streets, sharing food and water and putting up signs apologizing for the disruptions caused – have led them to be popularly described as the “politest” protesters.
The deployment of riot police in full gear and the quick use of pepper spray and tear gas by the Hong Kong Police during pro-democracy demonstrations was an alarming sign. Amnesty International is also very concerned about any potential use of rubber bullets by the police. In addition, there have been reports of assaults on the pro-democracy protesters by opponents on Friday, 3 October, and Saturday, 4 October, and at least one journalist has been seen to have sustained injuries during the course of reporting on the demonstrations.
Hong Kong is bound by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 27 of Hong Kong’s “mini-constitution”, the Basic Law, also guarantees “freedom of speech, of the press and of publication; freedom of expression, of assembly of procession and demonstration.” Government authorities must ensure the right to freedom of expression of all participants to peaceful assemblies and the right of the public to information. They must also ensure that journalists can carry out their work without unwarranted interference.
We call on you to ensure the Hong Kong Police to:
1.Respect the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and protect this right from interference of others
2. Facilitate peaceful protests and ensure right to information is respected and;
3. Refrain from excessive use of force
Mabel AU Mei Po
Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong