CHINA Police officers, civilians injured by rioters in HKSAR

CHINA

Police officers, civilians injured by rioters in HKSAR

CGTN

22:24, May 24, 2020

Over 100 people were arrested in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Sunday after violent protests erupted in the city with protesters disrupting traffic, damaging property and attacking police officers.

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A police car is damaged by rioters in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, China on May 24, 2020. /Photo via Hong Kong police

The protests came after a draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security was submitted to the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing.

Hong Kong police said at least 120 people were arrested by 4:30 p.m. for taking part in violent protests in Wanchai and Causeway Bay areas at noon, adding that most of them were suspected of illegal assembly.

The police said rioters blocked roads to disrupt traffic and endangered public safety by setting fire and throwing glass objects. Some rioters in Causeway Bay area also stormed and vandalized stores.

A number of law enforcers and civilians were hospitalized after being injured by rioters, according to the police.

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A police car is damaged by rioters in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, China on May 24, 2020. /Photo via Hong Kong police

Around 3:30 p.m., a 41-year-old man was injured after rioters blocking roads attacked him with umbrellas, police said.

Around 4:45 p.m., rioters hurled stones, hard objects and unknown fluid at police officers. During the incident, at least four media liaison officers were injured.

Police fired tear gas and deployed a specialized crowd management vehicle to disperse protesters.

According to the "Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation," anyone who participates in or organizes prohibited group gatherings may be subject to six months in prison upon conviction.

HKSAR govt: Violence proves emergency of national security legislation

The SAR government has voiced strong opposition to the unlawful gathering and ensuing violence, expressing support for police to take resolute enforcement action.

The purpose of the NPC's deliberation on the draft decision is to safeguard the national security and maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, said the SAR government in a statement.

The move is aimed at better protecting the lawful rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents, it added.

Sunday's violence has proven the emergency and importance of the national security legislation, said the government.

The unlawful assembly has badly affected normal commercial activities and might increase the risk of coronavirus spreading, stressed the SAR government, calling on residents to draw a line with the rioters.

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