Hong Kong protest organisers have rejected the city leader’s plan to set up a platform for dialogue, calling it a trap which aimed to waste time.
Members of the Civil Human Rights Front were responding to Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam’s announcement that she is immediately setting up a “communication platform” to resolve differences and to end the protests.
The protest group’s vice-convener, Wong Yik-mo, said Ms Lam is “not responding at all” to the protest movement’s demands, including calls for genuine democracy, her resignation and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality.
He said: “We do not trust Carrie Lam, we do not trust her lies.”
Jimmy Sham, another member, suggested that if Ms Lam wants dialogue, she should come to a protest.
The Civil Human Rights Front has organised several mass anti-government rallies that have attracted huge crowds in recent months, while many other groups that have joined the leaderless movement have held their own events.
Earlier, Ms Lam also said the city’s police watchdog will carry out a fact-finding study of the protests and related incidents as it looks into 174 complaints about police behaviour.
The movement held a massive but peaceful rally on Sunday after earlier protests had been marked by violence.
The government said the dialogue would take place on the condition that the protest remains peaceful.
Ms Lam did not say that the communication platform will be used specifically to contact protesters.
It will be used for “open and direct” dialogue with people from all walks of life, she told reporters, while giving few specifics on how it would work.
“Our goal is to work hard to resolve differences and conflicts, to understand each other through communication and to walk out of this social deadlock together,” she said.
Protesters have issued five demands of the executive, which include Ms Lam’s resignation and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality.
The protesters complain that police have used aggressive tactics, involving tear gas and rubber bullets.
Ms Lam dismissed the protesters’ demand for an independent inquiry, saying the city’s police watchdog was capable of looking into police misconduct.
The watchdog has been criticised for having limited monitoring powers.