Hong Kong might ban face masks in bid to curb violence
UNTV News • October 3, 2019 • 436
Hong Kong is set to enact an emergency law to ban face masks at rallies, media reported on Thursday (October 3), as authorities grapple with nearly four months of anti-government protests.
Many demonstrators wear face masks to hide their identities and shield themselves from tear gas. Some predicted the law would anger protesters even more, while others worried about being arrested.
The unrest, which began over opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial, shows no sign of letting up. Demonstrators, angry over the shooting of an 18-year-old this week by police, clashed with authorities into the early hours of Thursday. Demonstrators threw petrol bombs and police responded with tear gas.
Police have also urged the government to impose curfews to help curb the escalating violence in the Chinese-ruled city, where officers have become a target of protesters amid accusations of excessive force. (REUTERS)
China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday (July 2) that Britain would bear all consequences for any move it took to offer Hong Kong citizens a path to settlement in the UK.
China reserved the right to act against Britain over the issue, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing, without specifying what countermeasures Beijing might take.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and that Britain would offer around 3 million residents of the former colony a path to British citizenship. (Reuters)
Hong Kong police have arrested 10 people for violating the law on safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) which came into effect on Tuesday.
They were the first arrests made under the law since it took effect.
According to the Hong Kong police force, as of 22:40 Wednesday, apart from the 10 arrested for breaching the national security law, around 360 arrests had also been made for offenses including unlawful assemblies, disorderly conduct in public places and furious driving.
Rioters chanted slogans, calling for separation of the SAR from China. Police used water cannon to disperse the crowd.
A total of seven police officers were injured on duty, said Hong Kong police on its social media.
The Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, on Tuesday passed the national security law.
The law seeks to prevent, stop and punish acts and activities that endanger national security, namely secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements. (Reuters)
The United Kingdom said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and called on the People’s Republic to honor its international obligations.
“We have very carefully now assessed the contents of this national security legislation since it was published last night,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters and the BBC.
“It constitutes a clear violation of the autonomy of Hong Kong, and a direct threat to the freedoms of its people, and therefore I’m afraid to say it is a clear and serious violation of the Joint Declaration treaty between the United Kingdom and China.”
Raab said he would set out shortly the action Britain would take with its international partners.
Hong Kong’s autonomy was guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” agreement enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed by then Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule – imposed after Britain defeated China in the First Opium War. (Reuters)
(Production: Will Russell, Hanna Rantala, Polly Rider)
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