Activists have accused Hong Kong police of becoming the local arm of the mainland public security force after an officers group claimed some protesters deliberately stirred up trouble during the July 1 march, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.
In a statement Sunday, the Junior Police Officers’ Association made the accusation using a phrase that the central government commonly levels against dissidents.
The phrase, translated as “provoking quarrels and making trouble”, is often cited by the mainland authorities as the criminal charge against dissidents and protesters, but it is not an offense under Hong Kong law.
Occupy Central Movement founder Chu Yiu-ming said the statement shows that Hong Kong police are fast becoming part of the mainland’s public security apparatus.
The Civil Human Rights Front said the police have now put front-line law enforcers and protesters at odds.
The Hong Kong Federation of Students said the police association’s statement was like handing out a sentence without a trial.
The Hong Kong Customs & Excise Staff General Association, which is a subsidiary of the pro-establishment Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, said it supported the police’s operations.
The overseas edition of People’s Daily said Monday that the electronic mock universal suffrage exercise was working against the Basic Law and the Occupy Central Movement will drag Hong Kong into mob politics.
In an opinion piece Monday, the Wall Street Journal said the arrests of protesters on July 1 underscored the threat to police and judicial independence. In most world cities, it said, protest organisers who managed to keep half a million marchers peaceful and law-abiding would be hailed as heroes. But in Hong Kong, leaders of the protest were arrested on charges of walking too slowly.
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