UN decries ‘extreme violence’ by Hong Kong protesters amid fears of further escalation

19 Nov

The UN Human Rights Office said it was gravely concerned by increased violence on the part of some ‘very angry’ protesters in Hong Kong, urging accountability for both the wrongdoers and police using excessive force in response.

“The resort to extreme violence, including against the police force, by some engaged in the protests… cannot be condoned,” spokesman Rupert Colville told a journalist in Geneva.

The statement came after the anti-government protesters, holed up in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, used Molotov cocktails, arrows and bricks to repel the attempts by police to remove them from the premises.Law enforcement threatened to employ live ammo to restore order.

Those attacking the officers were “clearly very angry” people “with deep-seated grievances,” Colville said. There should be accountability for their actions as well as “in the case of allegations of excessive use of force by the police.”

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The spokesman warned that there was risk of further escalation of the situation in Hong Kong, where thousands have been protesting since summer against the central government in Beijing, urging all sides “to renounce and condemn the use of violence.”

Colville also said that the authorities should engage in dialogue with the protesters to find a peaceful solution to the crisis and address the humanitarian situation of the some 100 people still remaining at the university.

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