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Dozens arrested in protests marking the first anniversary of defiance of a police ban in Hong Kong

Selava Omar – Xeber24.net

British newspaper “The Gardian” reported the arrest of more than 50 people in Hong Kong Tuesday evening after thousands of protesters took to the streets in defiance of a police order marking the first anniversary of the anti-government movement.

The newspaper pointed out that police riot police used pepper spray and accused the crowds again and again in attempt to disperse the demonstrators gathered near the central commercial area, occupying roads and blocking traffic until midnight.

In a statement, police said 53 people had been arrested for participating in an illegal assembly. The force said it had used “minimum necessary force” to disperse protesters who defied orders to leave.

People first gathered in the Chater Garden park in Central in the early evening. They began chanting slogans but dozens of riot police descended on them, conducting body searches and ordering people to leave.

A man who swore at police officers was arrested. Crowds were dispersed and began gathering on pavements. Later, protesters formed a line and began marching, yelling slogans and waving banners as they spilled on to the main thoroughfares.

Protests have been banned in effect since March by the extension of pandemic restrictions on gatherings. The continued restrictions – which limit gatherings to eight – apply despite entertainment venues and religious gatherings being allowed to resume, and theme parks being given the green light to reopen.

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