115 arrested after night of violence in Mong Kok - RTHK
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115 arrested after night of violence in Mong Kok

2020-03-01 HKT 15:56
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  • Police had fired tear gas after protesters threw petrol bombs and bricks at officers to mark six months since the so-called 8.31 attack in Prince Edward station. Photo: RTHK
    Police had fired tear gas after protesters threw petrol bombs and bricks at officers to mark six months since the so-called 8.31 attack in Prince Edward station. Photo: RTHK
Police said on Sunday that officers arrested 115 people after anti-government violence returned to the streets of Mong Kok on Saturday night, with protesters hurling petrol bombs and bricks at officers, and police firing tear gas in return.

The force acknowledged that an officer drew his gun on protesters at one point by the intersection of Nathan Road and Nelson Street, after the crowd started throwing bricks and bamboo poles at him.

The officer, who sustained injuries to his head and limbs, did not open fire before running away. The police said he felt his life was under threat.

The government put out a statement on Sunday saying multiple officers were injured in the clashes, and police had used the minimum force necessary to disperse the crowd and make arrests.

Claudia Yip from Human Rights Monitor said while she understands the officer was in a “very dangerous environment” where he was surrounded by protesters “who are very much against police”, she questioned how he was ever put in such a position where he had to defend himself on his own.

She also said various incidents caught on video – of officers pepper-spraying passersby for no apparent reason, and one punching a man who was just standing on the street – suggest that some officers still couldn’t keep their emotions in check despite a weeks-long break in the anti-government protests.

“It has been a key concern since last year when the protests were very intense,” she said. “Now there are fewer protests recently… still the police officers are unable to cope with the stress.”

Large crowds of black-clad protesters had returned to the streets after weeks of relative calm to mark six months since police stormed through an MTR train in Prince Edward station, beating and pepper-spraying people on board, sparking rampant but unsubstantiated rumours of fatalities.

Police say the people arrested on Saturday night are between 15 and 54 years old, and are suspected of various offences like unlawful assembly, assault and obstructing police.

A government spokesman also strongly condemned an arson attack on the South Kwai Chung Jockey Club General Out-Patient Clinic at around 1am on Sunday morning, saying these kinds of acts harm innocent patients.


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Last updated: 2020-03-01 HKT 16:09