China has yet to submit an update on Hong Kong to the UN after its Committee Against Torture published a set of recommendations last February. China’s submission was due in December and is a month late, according to an Apple Daily report.

un logo
The UN logo. Photo: Wikicommons.

Its report, the Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of China with respect to Hong Kong, China, discussed the excessive use of tear gas, batons and spray against protesters during the 2014 Occupy protests, among other issues. The committee said it was concerned that police had resorted to using force against more than 1,300 people during the pro-democracy demonstrations, with around 500 subsequently admitted to hospital.

The UN committee voiced concern  that investigations into police complaints were being conducted by the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO), an internal unit of the force. They noted that the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) remained an advisory and oversight body of CAPO’s investigations, with no power to conduct investigations of its own.

Superintendent Chu King-wai baton
Superintendent Chu King-wai has been filmed using baton against pedestrians in Mong Kok during the Occupy protests.

They recommended Hong Kong establish a fully independent mechanism to investigate complaints against officials to ensure that there was no hierarchical relationship between investigators of the body and the accused. It added that alleged perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment should be immediately suspended from duty for the duration of any investigation.

The UN requested information related to its recommendation that the fairness and transparency of Hong Kong’s non-refoulement claim screening procedure.

legco elections
Police officers outside the polling station. Photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

It also requested updates on its recommendation that detainees should be given fundamental legal safeguards from the moment they are deprived of liberty.

Hong Kong’s Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau told Apple Daily on December 9 that they have submitted the relevant information to the Chinese government, asking them to hand it over to the Committee Against Torture.

However, the committee said that they have yet to receive the report when responding to the newspaper’s enquiries on December 13 and January 9. The Bureau did not comment further on the incident.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.