Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said that it was difficult to find people to join an independent review committee to look into the causes of Hong Kong’s ongoing protests.

The committee was proposed by Lam to identify deep-seated issues at the heart of the unrest since June. Lam has said that the committee would not have any investigative power, unlike the independent commission of inquiry demanded by protesters.

Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam. Photo:

Lam said ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday that the government has been working on forming an independent review committee.

“But I must admit that under the current political environment, especially with ever-stronger ad hominem attacks and threats of doxxing, there is a difficulty finding the people we need to carry out this work. But we will continue to work on it,” she said.

Lam reiterated that the government will not set up an independent commission of inquiry and that a probe into allegations of misconduct should be handled by the Independent Police Complaints Council.

She added the police had faced a huge amount of pressure from all sectors of society including false accusations, such as one from an unnamed lawmaker on Monday.

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On an RTHK programme, Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting – who organised a protest in Sheung Shui on Sunday – accused police of abusing their power to conduct mass arrests.

Large-scale protests have entered into their eighth month. Initially against a now-withdrawn extradition bill, the demonstrations have evolved into sometimes violent displays of dissent against police action, amid calls for democracy and anger over Beijing’s encroachment.

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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.