45 Hong Kong protestors charged with rioting

Hong Kong: Taking a tougher stance aimed at restoring order in Hong Kong, as many as 45 of the 49 demonstrators detained by the police during the recent protests have been charged with rioting, assaulting police officer and possession of offensive weapons.

Police have stressed that an investigation is underway and did not rule out the possibility of further arrests, reported Xinhua News Agency.

Hundreds of pro-democracy protestors had gathered near the Chinese government’s liaison office on Sunday to protest against the alleged police brutality during a previous protest.

Violent clashes had ensued between the authorities and the demonstrators, during which police filed multiple rounds of tear gas to push back the protestors who were trying to reach the liaison office. In response, the protestors had attacked police officers at the scene with lethal weapons such as bricks and sharpened iron rods.

Hong Kong has seen eight consecutive weeks of anti-government protests that began against a now-suspended extradition bill, that have since broadened to include calls for democracy and police accountability.

The said extradition bill was proposed on April 3 and its opposers argue that its controversial amendments will leave anyone on Hong Kong soil vulnerable to being grabbed by the Chinese authorities for political reasons or inadvertent business offences.

Multiple protests sometimes violent continue to take place in the semi-autonomous state despite the city’s pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam publicly apologising for proposing the controversial legislation and announcing later that the bill was “dead”.