Police issue letter of objection to rally planned for Sunday on the 15th straight weekend of HK anti-government protests, citing safety concerns

13-Sep-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Police have objected to a march and rally proposed by the Civil Human Rights Front for Sunday, the second ban issued to the organiser of recent anti-government protests with record turnouts. The latest was due to take place on the 15th consecutive weekend of protests.

The Front has already submitted an application to appeal.

The police issued the letter of objection on Thursday, about two hours before the organiser originally planned to meet the press about the proposed march from Causeway Bay to Central.

In the letter, the police cited heightened safety concerns after weekends of protests, saying protesters had committed violent acts, including starting fires, throwing petrol bombs, bricks and steel bars, and destroying public property.

The proposed demonstration was close to buildings at high risk, the police said, referring to multiple MTR stations in the region, police headquarters in Wan Chai, and government headquarters and government House in Admiralty.

The Sunday rally and march were proposed after the demonstration on August 31 was banned by the police, who cited safety concerns. The demonstration was supposed to call for genuine universal suffrage in the election of the city’s chief executive, organisers said, and to reiterate the five key demands of the anti-government protests of the past three months.

Embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s announcement of a full withdrawal of the extradition bill made earlier this month has failed to pacify protesters, who have pressed on with other demands, which include an independent inquiry into police actions during protests and genuine universal suffrage.

Huge crowds defied the police ban on August 31 and thronged the streets of Hong Kong Island. The day was later marked by violence as radical protesters lit fires and hurled petrol bombs at police, who, in turn fired blue dye from water cannons and multiple rounds of tear gas in some areas.

Two officers also each fired a live round into the air to ward off the protesters near Victoria Park. There were also clashes at Prince Edward MTR station where officers from the police Special Tactical Squad, answering a call of a disturbance on a train, were accused of indiscriminately beating commuters, though the force has maintained it only targeted radicals who had changed out of their black clothes and were mingling with passengers.



Category: Hong Kong

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