The Police have expressed deep regret at claims of police brutality against anti-extradition protesters made by Civic Party legislator Tanya Chan before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.

Speaking before the UN human rights high commissioner, and former Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, Chan said Hong Kong was on the verge of a humanitarian crisis. She called on the council to urgently discuss the matter and to send investigators to look into the alleged abuses.

“There is no sign the police will exercise restraint. This is the result of the lack of democracy in Hong Kong as the government is not held accountable for its endorsement of police abuse,” Chan said. “Will the high commissioner support our appeal for this council to convene an urgent session and establish a commission of inquiry to ensure human rights for the people of Hong Kong?”

But in a statement issued early on Tuesday morning, the police said the protests here had become increasingly violent since they began in June and that protesters had thrown petrol bombs, started fires and paralysed traffic. They said officers had always exercised a high level of restraint when trying restore public order.

“As for Ms Chan’s accusation about detainees being harassed and humiliated by police, we have clarified repeatedly that we have not received any formal reports or complaints. We take such groundless accusations very seriously and doubt the source of information,” a spokesman said.

The spokesman said Chan had also accused police officers of shooting bean bag rounds at a woman, causing blindness in one of her eyes. He said the case was still under investigation and judicial process and that no one should come to such a reckless conclusion before the investigation is over.

Earlier, the Reuters news agency said China’s diplomatic mission had written to the United Nations at the weekend urging it to deny Chan’s accreditation for the event, calling her a convicted criminal. The barrister was given a suspended sentence in June after she was found guilty of inciting public nuisance during the 2014 pro-democracy protests.