Tue, Jul 16, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Lam says protesters in latest HK clashes ‘rioters’

Reuters, HONG KONG

Demonstrators gather in the atrium of the New Town Plaza shopping mall in Hong Kong’s Sha Tin District on Sunday.

Photo: Bloomberg

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) yesterday said that protesters who clashed with police on Sunday were rioters, a legally loaded term in the territory, and she supported the police in upholding the law and seeking perpetrators.

Lam made the comments at a hospital where she visited three police officers injured in violent disturbances between police and demonstrators angry about an extradition bill.

“We thank the police officers for maintaining social order loyally and professionally, but they have suffered in attacks from those rioters — they can be called rioters,” Lam said.

With more protests expected in coming days and weeks, her comments risk raising tensions.

Tens of thousands of people attended Sunday’s protest, which ended in chaos in a shopping mall, with scores of protesters throwing umbrellas, hard-hats and plastic bottles at police, who fired pepper spray and hit out with batons.

Lam said more than 10 police were injured and six hospitalized.

The government information office said 28 people, including police, were injured.

Hong Kong Police Commissioner Stephen Lo (盧偉聰) late on Sunday said that more than 40 people were arrested on charges including assaulting police officers and illegal assembly.

Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee (李家超) said the government was concerned at an apparent escalation of violence.

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