• Today
    November 16

  • 09:03 PM

Dozens of Hong Kong protesters appear in court on rioting charges

REUTERS,

Added 25 September 2019

protesters-and-police-clash-081319

Riot police use pepper spray to disperse anti-extradition bill protesters during a mass demonstration after a woman was shot in the eye, at the Hong Kong international airport, in Hong Kong China on August 13, 2019. (Reuters)

HONG KONG – Dozens of Hong Kong anti-government protesters appeared in court on Wednesday charged with rioting and other offences over violent clashes two months ago near China’s main representative office.

Police clashed with thousands of protesters in the former British colony on July 28 as they sought to defend the Hong Kong Liaison Office, a symbol of Chinese rule, from the crowds. Officers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and sponge grenades.

The mostly young activists in hard hats and gas masks dismantled street signs and fences which they used to form makeshift barricades to slow police advances. This is now a common tactic, met by the same response, almost every weekend.

A week earlier, on July 21, they had daubed slogans on the walls of the Liaison Office and thrown paint bombs at it.

The court on Wednesday adjourned the case until November 19 after prosecutors said they needed more time to study 35 hours of video, including police, online and CCTV footage. The 44 defendants were released on bail.

Violence has hit parts of Hong Kong at different times over the last three months, but life goes on as normal most of the time.

But pictures of petrol bombs and street clashes broadcast worldwide present a huge embarrassment for Beijing before the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on October 1.

The protesters are furious at what they see as creeping Chinese interference in Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula intended to guarantee freedoms that are not enjoyed on the mainland.

China says it is committed to the arrangement and denies meddling. It has accused foreign governments including the United States and Britain of inciting the unrest.

The protests have led to the cancellation of trade fairs and sporting events, the latest being a football match with Malaysia planned for next month, the Hong Kong Football Association announced.

A deputy commissioner of China’s Foreign Commissioner’s office in Hong Kong, Song Ru’an, told reporters that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam had shown good faith towards the protesters and he denounced the violence.

“Such outright malicious acts are simply astonishing and unacceptable,” he said. “These rioters have openly challenged the red line of ‘one country, two systems’, showing increasingly features of a ‘colour revolution’ and localised terrorism.”

The protesters have five demands – the scrapping of now-withdrawn legislation that would have allowed extraditions to China, retraction of the word “riot” to describe the rallies, the release of all detained demonstrators, an independent inquiry into perceived police brutality and the right for Hong Kong people to choose their own leader.

The charges on Wednesday, apart from rioting, included one of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place and several of assaulting police. (Reuters)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Do you think the transaction fees at some banks are too high?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM