UN condemns Hong Kong violence, calls for restraint

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has condemned any form of violence or destruction of property in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and called for restraint by both parties.

She urged the demonstrators to express their views in a peaceful way, noting that the Chief Executive had committed to “engage as widely as possible” and to “listen to the grievances of the people of Hong Kong”, her spokesperson Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday.

The protests began with a proposed bill that would have enabled China to extradite individuals from Hong Kong to be tried on the mainland. Although the extradition bill was suspended in mid-June, the protesters want it officially withdrawn.

The demonstrations that have drawn more than 1 million people at times call for democratic reforms and an independent inquiry into police conduct. The city remains on edge after more than two months of near-daily and increasingly bloody confrontations between protesters and police, according to AP
The UN Human Rights Office urged the Hong Kong SAR authorities to act with restraint.

Bachelet called on the authorities and Hong Kong residents to engage in an open and inclusive dialogue to resolve the issues peacefully.

“This is the only sure way to achieve long-term political stability and public security by creating channels for people to participate in public affairs and decisions affecting their lives,” she said.