Peaceful Hong Kong march marred by fire outside court

09 Décembre, 2019, 13:10 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Protesters attend a Human Rights Day march organised by the Civil Human Right Front in Hong Kong China

Millions have hit the streets in protests fueled by years of growing fears that authoritarian China is stamping out the city's liberties. Most railway and transport links ran smoothly during the morning rush hour and there were no reports of widespread disruptions.

Young Hong Kong protestors anxious that they won't be treated good in the court fled to Taiwan since the start of this year's pro-democracy movement, according to lawyers and other supporters who have helped them to leave.

"Although the event was generally peaceful, acts of breaching public peace happened afterwards", police said in a statement on Monday.

Police said they have also fired 10,000 rubber baton rounds during the six months of protests and that 493 officers have been injured. It was an apt metaphor for the pro-democracy movement, which has become a long-haul push to preserve Hong Kong's freedoms that make it unique among China's cities.

The CHRF estimated the turnout at 800,000 while police put the peak crowd at 183,000.

Earlier on Sunday, Hong Kong police arrested 11 people for "possession of a firearm without a licence", marking the first time police claimed an illegal firearm meant to be used at a protest was confiscated.

According to official data, some 6,000 people have been arrested in Hong Kong since June. The other is Pepe the Frog, who carries none of the far-right baggage he does in the West, used by Hong Kong protesters as an irreverent symbol of their dissatisfaction with Beijing's rule.

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In the Fortress Hill area on the Hong Kong Island, the police seized a 9 mm semi-automatic Glock pistol, which forensic firearm examination shows is in good condition, and five magazines, three of which were already loaded with bullets.

Hong Kong's new police commissioner had said he would take a "hard and soft approach" to the demonstrations, where acts of violence would be treated harshly but other issues more flexibly.

The chairman and president of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Hong Kong were denied entry over the weekend to the neighbouring Chinese territory of Macau, without explanation.

Wong declined to comment specifically on their cases and said it was speculation that their refusal was linked to Beijing's response to US legislation backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, RTHK said.

Once rare for Hong Kong, violence has escalated throughout the year, as protesters have torched vehicles and buildings, hurled petrol bombs, dropped debris from bridges onto traffic and vandalized shopping malls.

Protests coalesced in June over a now-shelved extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial, then evolved into broader democracy calls. It has since morphed into calls for greater democratic freedoms and sometimes violent protests.

He held a poster saying: "My 2020 wish is universal suffrage", a reference to demands for an open vote on the city leader, now the unpopular Beijing-backed Carrie Lam.


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