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Hong Kong Police Issue Telescoping Batons to Off-Duty Officers

Hong Kong Police Issue Telescoping Batons to Off-Duty Officers

Human rights groups voiced grave misgivings on Tuesday at Hong Kong’s decision to issue telescoping metal batons to police officers “for the purpose of executing constabulary duties whilst off-duty.”

Icarus Wong of police watchdog group Civil Rights Observer cautioned:

Wong noted the Hong Kong public no longer trusts police to show restraint and carefully monitor the activities of officers, and implied the decision to arm off-duty officers could give the government a means of deploying untraceable and unaccountable muscle.

Hong Kong’s on-duty police officers have been criticized for swinging their batons with too much vigor, sometimes at people who were not even involved in protest actions.

The Atlantic argued on September 1 that Hong Kong’s government and police have lost the trust of the public in a way they crucially avoided during the 2014 democracy movement, although the early warning signs were there.

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