Unions have asked a British MP to apologise to the Hong Kong police for naming a superintendent during a parliamentary debate, claiming the officer gave the order to use tear gas against protesters.

Chairmen of four unions, Superintendents’ Association, Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association, Overseas Inspectors’ Association, and Junior Police Officers’ Association wrote to Helen Goodman MP on Friday, saying that it was evident to them that she has no understanding nor insight into what was happening in Hong Kong.

Helen Goodman
Helen Goodman. Photo: UK Parliament.

“We can only surmise you are either willfully blind to the truth or reading false reports,” they said. “You owe the Superintendent and the Hong Kong Police Force an apology.”

Goodman, during a debate on July 2, asked if the UK government would investigate a British superintendent, who she claimed was the one ordering tear gas be used against protesters on June 12.

She also mentioned that two other British chief superintendents were two of the most senior officers in charge of crowd control on that day, without naming them.

“What are Ministers doing to bring to book these British citizens who ordered the police brutality?” she asked the UK government.

China extradition protest admiralty clash
File Photo: Todd R. Darling/HKFP.

On Friday, the four unions wrote to Goodman saying that she “encouraged a doxxing campaign” against the superintendent.

Doxxing involves publishing private or identifying information about an individual online, generally with malicious intentions.

“He, along with the two other expatriate officers, have been subjected to vitriolic cyber attacks and physical threats to their families,” the letter said.

The unions said the police acted with proportionality and used minimum force to suppress a “rioting mob.”

“Many officers were injured by bricks and spears thrown by the mob. Some officers suffered from a corrosive substance being thrown at them,” they said.

Goodman said during the debate that she welcomed a public inquiry into the actions of the Hong Kong police in clearing anti-extradition law protesters.

The four unions said the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) has announced a study into all protests that took place in June.

“We understand that whilst the study will touch on police actions during the protests, it is vital for the IPCC to consider who instigated the riot and encouraged the attacks on police,” the unions said.

However, the IPCC study will not have legal power to summon witnesses.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.