According to a report presented on Wednesday, May 13, by the Hong Kong organization, Civil Rights Observer (CRO), there are about 45 testimonies citing unreasoned treatment by the authorities.

Since the protests in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region began last year, the massive protests led by pro-democracy advocates have been met with intense confrontations, resulting in numerous cases of abuse by the authorities that are of concern to human rights defenders.

The NGO CRO, which is responsible for monitoring the actions of the police, reported that several of the captured protesters ended up being subjected to serious attacks, some of which allegedly violated international human rights law.

The report titled Police Protests in Hong Kong: Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, detailed cases of severe assault, excessive use of force, sexual harassment, verbal humiliation, threats of violence, and delays in medical or legal assistance.

Among the respondents 24 indicated that they were subjected to harsh verbal treatment by the police, 13 indicated that they were victims of excessive force.

Fifteen others said that they had been denied immediate medical assistance, along with 16 people who were not given access to a lawyer in a timely way; while 13 others reported being harmed by “severe assault or injuries” at the hands of the police.

The clashes that have taken place and continue today revolve around the controversial law introduced last year by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, which was eventually removed.

This bill would have granted the CCP access to people charged with supposed crimes to be tried on the mainland. this would have severely restricted Hong Kong’s civil liberties.

According to Hong Kong Free Press, the police have justified their actions on several occasions by arguing that they are “obliged” to use the necessary amount of force when confronted with illegal activities.

The Independent Complaints Commission of the Hong Kong Police (IPCC) is currently expected to publish the results of its investigation into the authorities’ handling of last year’s protests.

Among the testimonies collected by the CRO are also those of seven anonymous individuals who were victims of aggravated physical assault.

In one of the cases presented, a man alleged that while surrounded by 15 tactical squad officers he was beaten with batons around his “finger joints, arm, pelvis, thigh, and head repeatedly.” 

According to the reports, during the arrest the officers forced him to ingest hard objects and told him that he should swallow his own vomit, while he reported that one of the officers placed a brick over his belongings and made him bend down by placing his head near his thighs for at least 15 minutes while continuously yelling at him.

As reported by Hong Kong Free Press, another man reported that after being subdued by the police, one of the officers grabbed him by the neck and pressed for about 15 to 50 seconds until he was running out of air, causing him to be nauseous.

 According to the Civil Rights Observer, the findings will be shared with the United Nations and international civil society groups.

In a joint statement by CRO founders Icarus Wong and Andrew Shum, called on authorities to investigate complaints of official misconduct.

“We urge the Hong Kong government to establish a fully independent police complaints mechanism, to initiate investigations of acts of torture or ill-treatment, to duly prosecute the perpetrators with appropriate punishment, and provide full redress to the victims,” they said.

Three U.N. special rapporteurs on Wednesday urged Hong Kong authorities to suspend criminal prosecutions of 15 pro-democracy activists, who were arrested last month after being accused of “organizing and participating in illegal activities.”