Violence erupts in Hong Kong over China’s anti-protest laws
Chaos has erupted on Hong Kong's streets after China's anti-protest "national security" laws came into effect, with one policeman being stabbed by a protester and hundreds arrested under the new statute.
Protesters have been out on the streets in defiance of China, which just passed a law banning protests and demonstrations in the semi-autonomous city.
The police officer was pictured with a blood soaked shirt after someone put an approximately 3cm gash in his left shoulder.
HK Police posted pictures on Twitter of the officer being given stitches, saying he was stabbed by "rioters holding sharp objects."
#PoliceInjured: During a #HKProtest, an officer was stabbed in the arm by rioters holding sharp objects when he was taking arrest action. While the by-standers offered no helping hand, suspects fled. #HKPolice express the strongest condemnation against such violent act. pic.twitter.com/YsrMvJXkBw— Hong Kong Police Force (@hkpoliceforce) July 1, 2020
The suspects fled, while bystanders offered no help, police said.
In a tweet showing unfiltered pictures of the injuries Hong Kong Police Force wrote: "During a #HKProtest, an officer was stabbed in the arm by rioters holding sharp objects when he was taking arrest action.
"While the bystanders offered no helping hand, suspects fled. #HKPolice express the strongest condemnation against such violent act."
Hong Kong police fired a water cannon and tear gas to break up the first protest since China introduced sweeping security legislation.
More than 300 arrests have been made, the first under the new legislation while warning of punishment for calling for secession or subversion.
The new law makes secessionist, subversive, or terrorist activities illegal.
Anyone taking part in pro-independence activities, such as shouting slogans or holding up banners and flags, is in violation of the law.
A man was detained for carrying a flag that called for independence, while a woman was also held for carrying a sign bearing the same message with a British flag.
Beijing only unveiled the details of the much-anticipated law late on Tuesday after weeks of uncertainty and years of public protest and international condemnation.
Former British territory, Hong Kong, is China's freest city and one of the world's most glittering financial hubs, guaranteed under a "one country, two systems" rule.
However, the new law will punish crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
It will also see mainland security agencies in Hong Kong for the first time and allow for extradition to the mainland for trial.
Wednesday saw thousands of protesters gathering downtown for an annual rally marking the anniversary of the former British colony's handover to China in 1997.
"You are displaying flags or banners/chanting slogans/or conducting yourselves with an intent such as secession or subversion, which may constitute offences under the national security law," police said in a message displayed on a purple banner.
Riot police used pepper spray and fired pellets as they made arrests after crowds spilt out into the streets chanting "resist till the end" and "Hong Kong independence".
Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, said the law was the most important development since the city's return to Chinese rule.
"It is also an inevitable and prompt decision to restore stability," Lam said at the harbour-front venue where 23 years ago the last colonial governor, Chris Patten, a staunch critic of the security law, tearfully handed back Hong Kong to Chinese rule.
Originally published as Violence erupts in Hong Kong over China's anti-protest laws