HK protesters remain barricaded inside university campus for the sixth day

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Announcing there is no deadline to clear out a Hong Kong university campus where dozens of protesters remain barricaded for the sixth day, Hong Kong’s new police chief told reporters that he hoped protesters inside Polytechnic University could “come out as soon as possible so that the matter can be resolved peacefully.”

Chief Commissioner Chris Tang, who was sworn in this week also reiterated a promise that those under the age of 18 would not be arrested immediately even as condition inside the university continues to deteriorate.

Early Friday morning, eight protesters turned themselves in after “self-proclaimed medical assistants” offered them a way out were not arrested, local media reported.

Police have locked down the campus since Sunday amid violent confrontations in which protesters hurled petrol bombs and bricks at police, while police fired tear gas and deployed a water cannon truck and an armoured vehicle to disperse the crowd.

Tang also revealed that police officers will be stationed at polling stations during Sunday’s district council elections “to ensure that those who want to vote can do so safely and without interference.”

“Violence may deter people from voting, but having a sufficient police presence…we are there to ensure the safety of the voters,” Tang said.

Separately, the Court of First Instance ruled Friday that an anti-mask law found to be unconstitutional by the same court on Monday will remain in effect until next week.

Separately, the Court of First Instance ruled Friday that an anti-mask law found to be unconstitutional by the same court on Monday will remain in effect until next week.

The police have since Monday voluntarily suspended enforcement of the law, which was enacted by the government by invoking emergency powers last month to deter mask-wearing protesters from taking part in demonstrations.

The government has demanded the law be enforced despite being ruled unconstitutional, warning that failure to do so will bring chaos and send the wrong message to protesters wanting to evade responsibility.

But the court said unruly behaviour existed before the law was enacted and there was no evidence showing crime increasing after the law was suspended, and so found the ruling has no relation with the behaviour of hardcore demonstrators.

The police have yet to comment on the ruling suspension.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people attended a lunchtime rally at a shopping mall in the business district of Central to urge people to vote in Sunday’s elections and to call on U.S. President Donald Trump to sign the Hong Kong human rights bill passed by the US Congress this week. (Source: Mainichi Japan)

 

 

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