編按：超過 30 名前高官、議員及政壇知名人士，今日向特首林鄭月娥發出緊急呼籲，要求立即撤回《逃犯條例》修訂，成立獨立調查委員會調查6.12事件，以及收回定性6.12為「暴動」的說法。參與聯署的包括前經濟司布簡瓊、前港區人大代表朱幼麟、前政務司長陳方安生、自由黨創黨主席李鵬飛、前立法局主席黃宏發等。（聯署中文版另見報道）
23 June 2019 Urgent Appeal
Joint letter to the Chief Executive Carrie Lam
We are a group of people who love and have served Hong Kong for many years. Since our urgent appeal on 14 June, we have been watching recent developments in Hong Kong with even greater concern and apprehension. That is why we jointly write again, sincerely urging you to meet the following requests as soon as possible, so our society can return to normal.
1. Withdraw the Bill immediately
The government has refused to withdraw the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislative (Amendment) Bill 2019. Suspension is not the same as withdrawal. It only means cancelling the notice to resume the second reading of the Bill. Withdrawal means cancelling the Bill altogether, so if the Government wishes to retable, it has to start the process all over again as a completely new bill. The Government says it has no plan to continue and the Bill will automatically lapse at the end of this legislative term in July 2020. But during this period, the Government’s refusal to withdraw the Bill is fueling suspicion and instability. Society is unable to resume normality. At this moment, with the complete loss of trust, your initial intent is no longer relevant; further, there have been precedents where unpopular bills were withdrawn.
2. Set up an independent enquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Ordinance
Over a million citizens of Hong Kong protested the Government’s mishandling of the Amendment Bill at every level, on two consecutive Sundays in June. This was unprecedented in Hong Kong’s history. There are countless allegations that the Police used excessive force on 12 June, while there are also allegations that some protesters were throwing bricks at the Police. Surely, the truth deserves to be investigated openly and fairly, so that justice can be served, wounds can heal and mistrust can be removed. If truth remains suppressed then we fear that such conflicts will continue, and may lead regrettably to more bloodshed and irreparable damage.
We therefore urge that an independent commission of inquiry be established, under the Commissions of Inquiry Ordinance and headed by one or more persons with public credibility, with a broad remit to investigate into all aspects of the Government’s handling of the amendment bill including, but not restricted to, the circumstances of the Police – citizen conflict that it gave rise to.
3.Immediately retract the riot label used by you and the Police Commissioner
According to the Police, they arrested 32 people on 12 June, 8 have their loitering charges dropped, of the remaining 24, 5 have been charged with rioting.
One of the loudest chants on 16 June was “there is no riot, only tyranny”. According to the Public Order Ordinance, a person is guilty of riot if he takes part in an unlawful assembly as defined in law. If there was no riot on 12 June, there is no basis to charge anyone with rioting. Conversely if there was a riot, all those assembled are riotously assembled and are guilty of the offence of riot.
There is reason to believe that many who marched and many who surrounded the Police Headquarters yesterday were dissatisfied with the label of “riot” that you and the Police Commissioner have put on the events of 12 June. Hong Kong people demonstrated peacefully. Many leaders and media around the world have saluted the high calibre and civic spirit of the Hong Kong protesters. It is ironic that our own government should denigrate our people as “rioters”. The Chief Executive and the Police Commissioner should immediately remove and withdraw this unreasonable “riot” label.
Joint signatories﹕(in no particular order)
HO Chun Yan Albert
LEE Wing Tat
LI Wah Ming
LAM Kui Shing Conrad
CHAN Ka Lok Kenneth
CHEUNG Man Kwong
SIN Chung Kai
CHEUNG Kwok Che
AU Yiu Kai
CHEUNG Yuk Tong
FANG Meng Sang
LO Chi Kin
LEE Cheuk Yan