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國際人權法「知道真相的權利」:對監警會和林鄭之回應

2020/5/17 — 0:48

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1. SOS 關注「獨立監察警方處理投訴委員會」(「監警會」) 就警方自 2019 年起的行動撰寫了一份專題審視報告(「報告」)、以及特首林鄭月娥(「林鄭」)異常反應迅速地隨即召開的記者會回應監警會報告。在記者會上,林鄭表示報告「全面、客觀,以事實為基礎,極有份量」,並以「香港的真相」為回應報告的點題。

2. 有關報告的內容, SOS 認為各社會持份者已有力地就此表達了意見,當中包括辭任監警會的國際專家小組前成員 Clifford Stott ,他引用了 George Orwell 的名言「當社會離真相越遠,它對真相的憎恨就越大。」作為其回應。

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3. 有見及此, SOS 在此不賛;惟我們希望透過這份明顯偏頗的報告,帶出另一個應被關注的人權範疇——「知道真相的權利」(「真相權」)。

4. 真相權在人權法學界已得到廣泛承認,這亦是獲得公義的權利以及得到有效補救和賠償的人權的先決條件。 聯信國安全理事會和大會在不同場合,以及在 2006 年 2 月 8 日發布的報告 E / CN.4 / 2006/91 中,均不斷重申:「確立關於危害人類罪、種族滅絕、戰爭罪和嚴重侵犯人權行為的真相,對於鞏固和平,以及作為和解進程的一部分,都是必要的。」

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5. 根據國際人權法,主權國有義務就著嚴重侵犯人權之行為和獲得有效的司法保償進行有效調查,以實踐並彰顯人民得到真相的權利。例如歐洲人權法院推定,真相權之於免遭酷刑或虐待、有效補償,以及進行有效調查和被告知結果等人權,是為不可分割的一部份。 此外,在強迫失踪、酷刑和法外處決的情況下,歐洲人權法院基於《歐洲人權公約》第十三條強調,所謂「採取有效補償」,進行徹底和有效的調查乃不可或缺,以查明和懲罰該等需為違反人權罪行而負上責任的人。

6. 監警會主席梁定邦在發表報告的記者會上回答質詢時,他本人亦承認,該報告是根據香港警隊的觀察和結論編寫以成的。梁定邦更表示:「 如果唔信納警方你信邊個?」

7. 上述情況進一步闡明,監警會的報告有欠公正,亦令人高度懷疑其可信性。這正是因為監警會並沒有調查權,亦沒有傳喚證人的權力;其可獲得的資訊材料,僅僅是警局內部投訴科已經處理過的投訴個案。

8. 有見監警會發布的報告和林鄭舉行的記者會對於香港的困局並沒有任何具建設性的作用,且僅僅是另一個政權宣傳手段,如此勞民傷財, SOS 深感遺憾。

9.  SOS 認為,林鄭所舉行以「香港的真相」為題的記者會,並於會上表示完全接受並讚揚監警會撰寫的無效及空洞的報告,實際上正正諷刺地再次侵犯我們對知道真相的人權。

10. 「真相權是每個人的一項基本而獨立的權利,因此不應受到限制。 基於其不可剝奪的性質以及與其他不可克減的權利(例如不遭受酷刑和虐待的權利)之密切關係,真相權亦應被視為不可克減的權利。 政權絕不能使用特赦或類似的手段以禁止知情權來限制、否認或損害人民得知真相的權利。 真相權與政府打擊和消除相關人員『免於刑責 ((impunity) ) 』的義務息息相關。 」

11. 以上聲明是聯合國人權委員會在 “Study on the right to the truth” 中得出的其中一個結論。 SOS 希望在此引用,並同樣作為我們的結論——只因當中的論述本身就是適用於所有文明社會、放諸四海皆準的國際人權法。

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【The Right to the Truth : SOS’s response to the IPCC and Carrie Lam】

1. The SOS is aware of the release of the thematic report (the “Report”) on police conduct since 2019 by the Independent Police Complaints Council (the “IPCC”) and the indeed very swift arrangement for a press conference launched by Ms. Carrie Lam (the “CE”), in which the CE acknowledged the content of IPCC’s report wholly and claimed that to be “The Truth About Hong Kong”.

2. Various stakeholders have expressed their opinions on the analysis and conclusion of the Report, including but not limited to the resigned IPCC former member Mr. Clifford Stott who quoted George Orwell “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”

3. The SOS shall therefore spare the repetition and move on to a related area of human rights concern arising from the blatant biased Report – the Right to the Truth.

4. The right to the truth is widely recognised in human rights jurisprudence as a prerequisite for the right to justice and the right to an effective remedy and reparation thereupon. On various occasion and also in an UN report E/CN.4/2006/91 issued on 8 February 2006, the Security Council and General Assembly have both reiterated that

“the establishment of the truth about crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes and gross human rights violations is necessary for the consolidation of peace and part of the process of reconciliation.”

5. In the context of international human rights law, the right to the truth is deemed to be the State’s duty to conduct effective investigations into serious violations of human rights and the right to an effective judicial remedy. For example, the European Court of Human Rights (the “ECHR”) has inferred such a right as part of the right to be free from torture or ill-treatment, the right to an effective remedy and the right to an effective investigation and to be informed of the results. Further, in cases of enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial executions, the ECHR has highlighted the notion of an effective remedy for the purposes of article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights entails a thorough and effective investigation capable of leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible.

6. According to the chairman of the IPCC Antony Neoh when answering journalists’ inquires, it was admitted by Mr. Neoh himself that the Report has adopted and is written based on the observation and conclusion drawn by the Hong Kong Police Force (the “HKPF”). It was said that “if you don’t believe in the HKPF, who should you count on?”

7. The aforesaid has further expressed the lack of impartiality and credibility of the findings of the Report, provide that the IPCC has no investigative power, nor the power to summon witnesses. The materials that were available to the IPCC were merely the complaints which have already been considered by the internal Complaints Against Police Office.

8. The SOS regrets to say that the Report launched by the IPCC and the press conference held by the CE were nothing constructive to the status quo, but simply another propaganda shows.

9. Having had the press conference headed “The Truth About Hong Kong”, the SOS is of the view that the CE was in fact ironically violating our rights to the truth by endorsing and praising the ineffective and empty Report composed by the IPCC.

10. “The right to the truth as a stand-alone right is a fundamental right of the individual and therefore should not be subject to limitations. Giving its inalienable nature and its close relationship with other non-derogable rights, such as the right not to be subjected to torture and ill-treatment, the right to the truth should be treated as a non-derogable right. Amnesties or similar measures and restrictions to the right to seek information must never be used to limit, deny or impair the right to the truth. The right to the truth is intimately linked with the States’ obligation to fight and eradicate impunity. “ (emphasis added)

11. The above statement was a conclusion made by the Commission on Human Rights of the United Nations in the “Study on the right to the truth”. The SOS hereby quotes it as our conclusion either for its very nature being a universal human rights law applicable to all civilised societies.

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