The Hong Kong Police Force has arrested at least three democracy advocates on the anniversary of pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019 that rocked the territory and eventually led to the Chinese government imposing a National Security Law that critics say has stifled dissent.
The democracy advocates were arrested for failing to produce proof of identity and disorderly conduct, while at least 10 people were summoned for contraventions of a ban on gatherings, police said, after protests in the Kowloon district of Mongkok and the chanting of slogans in breach of the national security legislation, which was implemented in June last year.
Some people blocked streets by filling them with garbage cans and other objects, police said.
Photo: Vincent Yu, AP
“The police strongly condemn protesters’ acts endangering public health and safety,” police said in a post on Facebook shortly before midnight on Saturday.
The three arrested were young men aged 15 to 19, police said.
On Saturday, small groups gathered to commemorate the first major clashes between protesters and police two years ago when tens of thousands demonstrated against a proposed law that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to China for trial.
Many Hong Kong residents saw the proposed law as further erosion of the territory’s special status that was supposed to be guaranteed under a “one country, two systems” formula agreed when Britain handed it over to China in 1997.
The 2019 demonstrations snowballed over subsequent months into a mass movement for democracy that included regular clashes between protesters and police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets.
Police deployed 2,000 officers around Hong Kong on Saturday, the South China Morning Post reported.
Police said on the eve of the anniversary that they had arrested two people on suspicion of promoting and inciting others to join an unlawful assembly.
Advocacy group Student Politicism said that two of its leaders were arrested.
There were no signs of protests yesterday.
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