Hong Kong: Free Protesters, Avoid Excessive Force

Hong Kong: Free Protesters, Avoid Excessive Force

Photo © 2014 Reuters

Hong Kong authorities should avoid excessive use of force as pro-democracy protests continue, Human Rights Watch said today. Officials should immediately free anyone still detained for peacefully participating in demonstrations.

Human Rights Watch is concerned about police use of riot gear, pepper spray, tear gas, and police batons given that the protesters appeared to pose no clear or imminent threat to public safety or property, nor have there been any reported instances of protesters threatening police. Some protesters shook police barriers and threw empty plastic bottles, but the protest otherwise remained entirely peaceful.

Hong Kong is known for respecting the rule of law and individual freedoms, and those rights cannot be sacrificed at times of political uncertainty.

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