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Protests return in Hong Kong

Last Sunday was supposed to be election day in Hong Kong. Instead, the city saw the largest street protest since the launch of the National Security Law.

Last Sunday was supposed to be election day in Hong Kong. Instead, the city saw the largest street protest since the launch of Beijing’s National Security Law. By Natalie Cheung.

Protestors took to the streets of Kowloon as the government has postponed legislative elections for a year, without considering alternative ways of voting that can safeguard public health.

In last year’s elections, pro-democracy candidates won 17 out of 18 district councils. Some believe that there are political motives other than social distancing behind this decision, as they still allowed mass coronavirus testing in public centres across the city.

A video of the police tackling a 12 year-old girl at the protest has gone viral and attracted much criticism.

The girl told reporters that she and her brother were buying art supplies in the area. In the video, she was seen running away from the police when one officer tackled her to the ground and three other officers came to restrain her.

The Hong Kong Police Force defended the officers in a statement, claiming that the girl fled “suspiciously”, that “minimum necessary force” was used, and expressed concern “about the participation of underage girls in prohibited groups”.

Key facts:

  • 289 people were arrested, one on suspicion of violating the National Security Law
  • At least 2000 riot police were deployed
  • Pepper spray and pepper pellets were used against protestors; water cannon vehicles were on standby