Fifty-three arrested as Hong Kongers protest planned national security laws

WION Web Team Beijing, China Jun 28, 2020, 08.47 PM(IST)

Hong Kongers arrested Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Armed riot police were present as a crowd of several hundred staged what was intended to be a “silent protest” against the planned law.

At least 53 people were arrested on Sunday by the Hong Kong police after scuffles broke out during a peaceful protest against planned national security legislation to be implemented by the mainland Chinese government.

Armed riot police were present as a crowd of several hundred staged what was intended to be a “silent protest” against the planned law.

Hong Kong Police said on Facebook that 53 people had been arrested and charged with unlawful assembly, adding that earlier some protesters tried to blockade roads in the area.

The proposed national security law has raised concerns among Hong Kong democracy activists and some foreign governments that Beijing is further eroding the extensive autonomy promised when Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997.

Sunday’s event came a day after Hong Kong police refused permission for an annual march usually held on July 1 to mark the 1997 handover, citing a ban on large gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

China has said the new security law would target only a small group of troublemakers as it tackles separatism, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong.

China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee reviewed a draft of the bill on Sunday.

Chinese state media reported that lawmakers have overwhelmingly supported the draft.