Hong Kong: Protesters arrested as thousands sing protest anthem on anniversary of clashes

WION Web Team
Hong Kong Published: Jun 13, 2020, 02:32 PM(IST)

Pro-democracy demonstrators sing the anthem ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ on Friday to mark a year since major clashes with police in the city. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

On June 12 last year, trouble flared outside the Legislative Council after tens of thousands gathered there to demand the withdrawal of an extradition bill that would have allowed fugitives to be sent to the mainland and other jurisdictions with which Hong Kong has no transfer arrangement.

Thousands of Hongkongers sung a popular protest anthem and chanted slogans across the city to mark the June 12 anniversary of the first major clashes that launched last year’s social unrest due to major clashes between police and pro-democracy demonstrators.

Riot police declared Friday’s gatherings unlawful assemblies and a breach of anti-coronavirus bans on public meetings of large groups, sending snatch squads to make multiple arrests throughout the evening.

The financial hub’s protest movement kicked off on 9 June last year with a huge march against an unpopular bill that would have allowed extraditions to the Chinese mainland.

Also read: Hong Kong to establish new police unit to enforce new security laws

Ignoring social-distancing rules for Covid-19, demonstrators hit the streets at night in districts, including Causeway Bay, Sha Tin, Mong Kok, Tai Po, Yuen Long and Kwun Tong, despite police warning they risked arrest for unauthorised assembly and could face five years in jail.

On June 12 last year, trouble flared outside the Legislative Council after tens of thousands gathered there to demand the withdrawal of an extradition bill that would have allowed fugitives to be sent to the mainland and other jurisdictions with which Hong Kong has no transfer arrangement.

The clashes marked a turning point for the movement, and the unrest has not died down even after the withdrawal of the bill.

The “very hot” weather warning was in place, and the Observatory also issued the typhoon standby signal No 1 for the first time this year, as hundreds of protesters gathered on the streets. They sang the anthem of the protest movement, Glory to Hong Kong, and chanted slogans.

Police said on Saturday that as of 12.30am, 43 people, 28 men and 15 women, had been arrested over offences such as wounding, taking part in an unauthorised assembly, misconduct in a public place and possession of offensive weapons.

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