Dozens charged with rioting in Western - RTHK
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Dozens charged with rioting in Western

2019-07-30 HKT 21:58
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  • The clashes between anti-extradition protesters and police officers took place in Sheung Wan and Western on Sunday. Photo: RTHK
    The clashes between anti-extradition protesters and police officers took place in Sheung Wan and Western on Sunday. Photo: RTHK
Police have charged 44 people with rioting in connection with the protests in Western district on Sunday evening. One of them also faces one count of assaulting a police officer.

A 45th suspect was charged with possessing an offensive weapon.

Police say the charges were laid after advice had been sought from the Department of Justice. All 45 will be taken to Eastern Court on Wednesday.

The suspects are among 49 people arrested during the police clearance operation that night. Officers said more arrests may be made later.

Violent clashes between anti-extradition protesters and police officers broke out in the streets of Sheung Wan and Western, after marchers left an authorised protest at Chater Garden on Sunday.

Many rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets were fired, while protesters erected barricades and threw bricks.

As news of the charges broke, hundreds of people gathered outside Kwai Chung police station, where some of the suspects are being detained, to show their support. They shouted at officers, who were standing guard outside, and chanted slogans like “black cops”. The officers later left in a police van.

The station’s gate was closed, and the report room suspended services. Officers also made announcements calling on people to leave.

A person convicted of rioting faces a jail term 10 years.