Lessons from 1970s Hong Kong: the danger of unchecked police powers, and how a judge-led inquiry and an amnesty can work

The last law and order crisis in Hong Kong was not during the Cultural Revolution disturbances of 1967. It was a decade later, when the police mutinied, staging mass demonstrations against the Independent Commission Against Corruption for its investigation of institutionalised corruption in the force.

The existence of this cancer had been hinted at in an inquiry into the 1966 riots – caused by local grievances, not Beijing – but nothing much happened until the creation of the ICAC.


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Breaking news, analysis and opinion from the SCMP’s Hong Kong edition.


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