Two officers injured as peaceful rally ends in Violence: Hong Kong Update


  • ASEAN+
  • Sunday, 19 Jan 2020

A man believed to be a plainclothes police is surrounded and beaten by protesters during a rally at the Chater Garden in the Central business district in Hong Kong. Two Hong Kong police officers were beaten at a rally in the city centre that was dispersed as it descended into confusion and violent clashes. - AP

HONG KONG: Two Hong Kong police officers were beaten at a rally in the city centre that was dispersed as it descended into confusion and violent clashes.

The officers, from the Police Community Liaison Office, the both suffered head wounds after being attacked with wooden sticks and other weapons near the gathering in Chater Garden in the Central business district. The meeting of thousands of protesters started peacefully with speeches and music but was dispersed when police ordered an end to it, citing violent behaviour by protesters.

Sunday’s events followed a relative lull in the past weeks, after seven months of sometimes-violent protests that were ignited by a bill to allow extraditions to mainland China. The demonstrators’ demands have broadened to include greater democracy and an independent inquiry into police conduct.

The Chater Garden venue was virtually cleared of the throngs of demonstrators gathered earlier for a rally scheduled to run until 10pm. The meeting was meant to reinvigorate the Hong Kong protest movement, with a list speakers from trade unions, religious groups and student associations.

Police said that they asked the organisers to suspend the rally in response to violence from some people at the scene. Objects were thrown at officers, according to a statement.

Police scuffled with demonstrators who spilled into roads and set fire to barricades.

Officers handcuffed a number of people. At least one person was bleeding from a head wound.

Earlier, the government announced that traffic through Hong Kong International Airport declined across the board last year as months of ongoing unrest, including protest-related closures at the transit hub.

The airport handled 71.5 million passengers in 2019, down 4.2% from a year earlier, the Airport Authority Hong Kong said in a press release Sunday. Flight movements fell 1.9% while total cargo throughput declined 6.1% from a year ago to 4.8 million tonnes.

Some of the more violent clashes seen in Hong Kong happened at the airport and its rail link last year as protesters organised sit-ins that led to the delays and cancellation of hundreds of flights. - Bloomberg
Article type: free
User access status: 3

Hong Kong , Police Officers , Attacked

   

Across The Star Online