July 20, 2024
Hong Kong protests: dozens arrested as government warns of 'dangerous situation'
Protesters clash with police after an anti-government rally in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong.
Protesters clash with police after an anti-government rally in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong.

Dozens of people, including a 12-year-old child, have been arrested after a night of escalating violence in Hong Kong during which police fired a warning shot near protesters and used water cannon for the first time.

Police said they arrested 86 people over the weekend for offences including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons and assaulting police officers.

Sunday’s protests were the scene of the fiercest clashes yet between police and demonstrators since violence escalated in mid-June over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kong people to be sent to mainland China for trial.

Police fired water cannon and teargas in running battles with protesters, who threw bricks. Six officers drew their pistols and one officer fired a warning shot into the air, police said in a statement.

Mak Chin-ho, an assistant police commissioner, said violence by demonstrators had led to the police responding with force.

“We have seen an increase in the intensity and extensiveness of violence used by protesters. Their radical acts have intensified with more dangers and sometimes deadly weapons used including bricks, metal posts, long sticks, and petrol bombs,” said Mak.

Hong Kong’s government also condemned the protesters. “The escalating illegal and violent acts of radical protesters are not only outrageous, they also push Hong Kong to the verge of a very dangerous situation.” It said police would “strictly follow up” on illegal acts.

“Police will take relentless enforcement action to bring the persons involved to justice,” it said.


See Also:

(1) A gun shot, petrol bombs and water cannons mark violent escalation in Hong Kong protests

(2) Tear gas in Kwun Tong after Hong Kong protesters surround police station, dismantle ‘surveillance’ lampposts

(3) Will protest-hit Hong Kong lose financial business to Singapore amid a growing climate of fear? The answer isn’t so clear-cut

(4) Hong Kong tech firm pulls out of smart lamppost programme after surveillance accusations and staff threats

(5) ‘Natural reaction’ for gun-wielding officer to kick kneeling man, Hong Kong police say