Tue, Sep 10, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Hong Kong students form human chains

MEDIA PROTEST:Some reporters and photographers wore helmets and gas masks to a police briefing as they complained about riot police using pepper spray on them


Students from City University and Baptist University form a human chain in Hong Kong yesterday as part of a territory-wide protest.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Thousands of students yesterday formed human chains outside schools across Hong Kong to show solidarity after violent weekend clashes between police and activists pushing for democratic reforms in the territory.

The silent protest came as the Hong Kong government condemned the “illegal behavior of radical protesters” and warned the US to stay out of its affairs after thousands of demonstrators on Sunday appealed for Washington’s support.

The government said in a statement that “foreign legislatures should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs” of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) yesterday visited a subway station vandalized by protesters in an unusual public appearance. A video distributed by the government showed Lam inspecting damage and telling a commuter she was “heartbroken” to see the destruction.

“I hope Hong Kong will be calm again soon and no more violence,” Lam said.

High-school and university students yesterday formed long human chains that snaked into the streets outside their schools, following similar protests last week. They were joined by many graduates wearing the protesters’ trademark black tops and masks.

Many also rallied against what they viewed as excessive use of force by police, with one student carrying a placard that read “Stop violence, we are not rioters.”

Anger was fueled over the weekend after images of a youth being bloodily beaten up by riot police at a subway station were widely shared on social media. The boy, who did not fight back, was pinned to the floor and appeared unconscious in a pool of blood.

Police Public Relations Chief Superintendent Tse Chun-chung (謝振中) told a briefing yesterday that police have received complaints about the case and are investigating.

He said police were doing their best to handle escalating violence, with “radical” protesters attacking police and trying to snatch their weapons, adding that 157 people had been detained since Friday.

Hong Kong journalists, some wearing helmets and gas masks, complained at the police briefing that riot police had used pepper spray and threatened colleagues covering the weekend clashes.

Meanwhile, activist Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) was released yesterday, after being detained on Sunday after returning from a trip to Taiwan.

A court said Wong’s overseas trips had been approved earlier and his detention was due to procedural errors. Wong later departed for a trip to Germany and the US.

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