Police watchdog delays publication of unrest report - RTHK
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Police watchdog delays publication of unrest report

2020-01-16 HKT 21:17
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  • The IPCC had been expected to issue its report this month. Photo: RTHK
    The IPCC had been expected to issue its report this month. Photo: RTHK
The Independent Police Complaints Council has indefinitely postponed the release of a preliminary report into the handling of social unrest as it awaits the outcome of a judicial review of its powers.

The police watchdog made the decision at a special meeting on Thursday. It had been expected to release the report, described as a "thematic study", this month.

The council decided on the delay after the High Court opted to hear a challenge by a social worker and activist who questioned whether the IPCC had the power to start the investigation on its own initiative.

"The IPCC very much regrets that in light of the JR, it would not be appropriate to publish the first interim report as planned, but it will continue to work on the thematic study and to monitor and examine all reportable complaint cases arising from the [public order events] in a fair and impartial manner under the present IPCC Ordinance," it said.

Media reports earlier this month suggested that the IPCC's initial report would show "many shortcomings" in the policing of protests last summer.

The report would cover only the first month of social unrest in June last year, including a mass demonstration on June 9, protests outside the Legislative Council on June 12 and the storming of the Legco complex on July 1.

Other contentious issues, such as the police's response to an attack by a white-shirted mob on members of the public and protesters at Yuen Long Station on July 21, would have to wait for further reports.