90 arrested over HK democracy protests

7 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

HONG KONG: Nearly 100 people were arrested by Hong Kong police on Sunday as riot officers swooped on democracy protesters opposed to the postponement of local elections, reports AFP.

Sunday was meant to be voting day for the city’s partially elected legislature, one of the few instances where Hong Kongers get to cast ballots.

But the city’s pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam suspended the polls for a year—citing the coronavirus—angering the pro-democracy opposition who had been hoping to capitalise on seething anti-government sentiment.

Hundreds of riot police flooded the district of Kowloon in a bid to thwart online calls for flash mob protests to mark the suspended vote.

Throughout the afternoon police were heckled by people shouting slogans such as “Give me back my vote!” and “Corrupt cops!” as officers conducted multiple stop and searches and ordered crowds to disperse.

In a Facebook statement, police said at least 90 people were arrested, mostly for unlawful assembly.

One woman was detained under a new security law Beijing imposed on the city for chanting independence slogans, the force added.

Live images showed three prominent pro-democracy politicians—Leung Kwok-hung, Figo Chan and Raphael Wong—were among those held.

The protests came hours after the police’s newly formed national security unit arrested Tam Tak-chi, another democracy activist and radio DJ, for “uttering seditious words”—a colonial-era offence.