Hong Kong chief executive backs police watchdog's report

'Truth About Hong Kong' press conference sees Carrie Lam agreeing with Independent Police Complaints Council

Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference in response to the IPCC's report. 

Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference in response to the IPCC's report.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam held "The Truth About Hong Kong" press conference on Friday (May 16), backing the investigative report on police violence produced by the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC).

Lam contended the report was meticulous, objective, and fact-based, while reprimanding the Hong Kong protesters for their ignorance of laws and disturbing the peace. She believes the peaceful anti-extradition bill protests turned violent as they were used by dissidents to make a plea for direct democracy or independence that would sabotage "one country, two systems."

The report addressed police violence at major events during the months-long riots in Hong Kong, including the Yuen Long attack on July 21 (721 incident) and the Prince Edward station attack on Aug. 31 (831 incident). These were two of the principal events that are said to have fueled the fury of demonstrators and prolonged the anti-government protests.

Hong Kong legislator Lin Zhuo-ting (林卓庭), a victim in the Yuen Long attack, criticized the IPCC for downplaying and legitimizing the assaults of gangsters on unarmed civilians. "It is a trash report in which no criticisms are addressed against the police, only advice on how they can improve the use of force. IPCC is merely a PR consultant of the Hong Kong Police Force," Lin told RFA.

Nevertheless, the council said it believed police missed "the golden moment" to explain what really happened that night to the public, which led to misunderstandings and widespread use of the term "dirty cops."

As for the 831 incident, the IPCC used the term "violent demonstrators" throughout the report, while police were said to have used the least force required to handle them, including using pepper spray and batons.

Facing questions from journalists, Lam reiterated she would not establish a commission to investigate police behavior. According to the panel of foreign experts who withdrew from the IPCC's investigation, the council lacked the necessary authority to protect a society that “values freedom and rights."