File photo shows officers of the Hong Kong police's media liaison team (wearing blue vests) working in Hong Kong, south China. (Photo: Xinhua)
HONG KONG, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Police have adopted a measured and restrained approach and only used minimum necessary force against unlawful activities of the violent protesters, the government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) said on Thursday.
The spokesman of the HKSAR government made the remarks in response to an overseas media report that alleged that Hong Kong police broke their own rules on using force and faced no consequences.
The spokesman strongly refuted the biased and misleading claim, expressing "deep regret to the allegation that is not based on facts is still made."
"The use of force is in line with international standards. Once the situation is under control, the use of force will cease. All police officers are accountable for the force they use and their supervisors are present on site to oversee and ensure that the use of force is lawful," the spokesman said.
The spokesman said police do not initiate action against protesters but only respond with appropriate and proportionate force when protesters take part in illegal activities.
Violence has indeed escalated in recent weeks, including serious acts that endanger public safety and public order by blocking roadways, paralyzing traffic, setting barricades, committing arson, vandalizing shops and railway facilities, hurling bricks, throwing petrol bombs, flagrantly assaulting bystanders and violently attacking police officers.
Increasingly lethal weapons including petrol bombs, catapults with steel ball-bearings, explosive devices, bombs, bows and arrows have been used by radical protesters, who are also well-equipped with helmets, shields, goggles, respirators, masks, full-body armor and protective gear.
"We reiterate that it is the responsibility of the police to ensure public order and public safety. The police must also safeguard the rights and freedoms of others," the spokesman said.
"If protesters do not use violence, there would not be any necessity to resort to lawful use of force to defend ourselves. If protesters are peaceful, rational and orderly, the police will not and have no reason to intervene," the spokesman said.