Amnesty for both sides could end crisis: Benny Tai - RTHK
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Amnesty for both sides could end crisis: Benny Tai

2019-08-26 HKT 12:57
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  • Amnesty for both sides could end crisis: Benny Tai
Pro-democracy activist and Occupy movement co-founder Benny Tai is calling on the government to grant amnesty not only to the hundreds of extradition protesters arrested over the past few months, but also any police officers who have abused their powers while on the frontline.

Tai said such a move could prove to be a way out of the political crisis that has gripped the city since early June.

The Hong Kong University professor told RTHK's Janice Wong that it would be wrong to put all of the blame on the police for the escalation of violence during protest clashes.

"I think they are put into very difficult positions. They have orders from their seniors. It's inevitable that there might be situations of misuse of their powers. Surely, they may still have to be responsible for their acts. But I think we should really try to understand what really causes that," he said.

"That's a reason why I think [we need] a general pardon for everyone involved in this movement."

Tai also warned that a platform for dialogue proposed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam would not be able to address the public's concerns over the extradition bill and allegations of police brutality.

"It has to be initiated by civil society so that the dialogue can be really on an equal footing. If it's a top-down kind of dialogue, there will be no way that people will trust that it will be conducted on an equal footing," he said.

Tai was released from prison on bail earlier this month while he appeals against his conviction for public nuisance offences relating to his role in the 2014 Umbrella movement. He had been given a 16-month prison term in April.