Police arrest 1,400 since June, 89 for weekend’s violence at illegal protest

By Li Qiaoyi in Hong Kong, Zhang Hui and Zhang Han in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/16 23:18:40

Mass left by radical Hong Kong protesters outside Wan Chai MTR station. Photo: Li Qiaoyi/GT

Hong Kong police have arrested more than 1,400 people since June, and 89 of them were detained for the past weekend's unauthorized assembly, as violent protests entered their 100th day on Monday. 

Police strongly condemned the violence over the weekend when rioters created havoc in many districts on Hong Kong Island, seriously paralyzing Hong Kong traffic, vandalizing MTR stations and subverting Hong Kong's social order. 

HK police arrested 89 people from Friday to Sunday for unauthorized assembly, keeping offensive weapons, failing to present an ID and fighting in public. Nine police officers were injured during the operations, Tse Chun-chung, Chief Superintendent of the Police Public Relations Branch, said at a press conference on Monday. 1,453 people have been arrested in Hong Kong since June, he said.

Hong Kong Police played a video which showed mobs vandalizing several MTR stations during the unauthorized assembly on Sunday, including breaking glass, setting fire outside the stations and spraying graffiti on the MTR exits. 

A large number of protesters seriously paralyzed traffic on Hong Kong Island when they passed Causeway Bay, Admiralty, Wan Chai and North Point during the unauthorized assembly on Sunday. Some radical protesters even burned national flags. They escalated their violence by throwing bricks and Molotov cocktails. Around 80 Molotov cocktails were thrown by protesters in Admiralty alone, Tse said. 

The violence has caused widespread fear in the public, tearing Hong Kong's core values apart, Tse said. 

"Many residents told me that they dare not speak differently in the streets for the fear of being beaten up. Is this the Hong Kong we were familiar with and is this the freedom we have been pursuing?" Tse asked.    

Ng Lok-chun, Senior Superintendent (Operations) of Hong Kong Island, said they show no bias. As for the people from Fujian communities in Hong Kong who used police shields to cover their faces when being taken away by police, Ng said they were asked not to reveal their identity, which was reasonable at the time.

In case of a spat the police's priority is to quell the situation from further deterioration and a person's background and political views are never police's consideration in law enforcements, Tse said.


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