By Sarah Smit
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has issued a statement calling for independent oversight of Hong Kong’s police force, saying that Australia is “deeply concerned” by violence between police and citizens.
The statement comes only days after the shooting of a pro-democracy protestor at point-blank range by police on Monday and urges that police “respond proportionately” to protests.
The statement refers to advice from an international expert panel which found that Hong Kong’s Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) does not have the capability to fully oversee the police force.
The Minister said that independent oversight is “essential for any meaningful dialogue and restoring the trust of Hong Kong’s people.”
Video of the shooting was streamed on Facebook on Monday, as was video of a pro-Beijing supporter arguing with protestors being doused in flammable liquid and set alight by an unidentified person.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a news conference on Monday evening that the Hong Kong government would not yield to pressure from protestors.
“If there is still any wishful thinking that by escalating violence the Hong Kong government will yield to pressure to satisfy the so-called political demands, I’m making this statement loud and clear: that will not happen.”