Source: Hong Kong Information Services
The Government today strongly condemned rioters’ unlawful assemblies and extremely violent and illegal acts in the vicinity of Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, and Hong Kong independence advocates.
In a statement, the Government said rioters have launched activities to breach the public peace for months on end on the pretext of protesting against the Fugitive Offenders Bill legislative exercise since June last year, bringing about tremendous harm to Hong Kong.
Although the violent and illegal acts subsided amid the COVID-19 epidemic, the rioters have all along been eyeing opportunities to act.
As the epidemic eases, the rioters once again, on the pretext of opposing the legislation on national security, took part in unlawful assemblies and engaged in violent and illegal acts in the vicinity of Causeway Bay and Wan Chai today.
They blocked roads with miscellaneous objects, set fires, vandalised shops and public facilities from dismantling railings and trashing traffic lights to prying up drainage covers and bricks as well as assaulting people with different views.
While some rioters invaded a flyover to disrupt traffic, some even threw glass bottles from building rooftops and assaulted police officers with a large number of bricks and splashed them with an unknown liquid, injuring at least four officers who had to be sent to hospital.
It pointed out that these violent acts, which abounded in the second half of last year, pose a serious threat to public safety and are outrageous.
Police, as a law enforcement agency, are duty-bound to use appropriate force to conduct dispersal and arrest operations.
Noting that some people waved Hong Kong independence flags, the Government said they flagrantly disregarded the city’s constitutional order and undermined the overall and long-term interests of Hong Kong society.
The National People’s Congress (NPC) will deliberate the draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.
The Government pointed out that the decision’s fundamental objective is to safeguard national security and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, thereby better protecting the legitimate rights and freedoms of all members of the public in Hong Kong.
The violent acts in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai today showed that advocates of Hong Kong independence and rioters remain rampant, reinforcing the need and urgency for the legislation on national security.
It added given that the epidemic is not over and while the economic situation has been severe, Hong Kong cannot withstand further blows.
The Government said rioters’ acts were extremely irresponsible and it supported Police to take resolute enforcement action.
It also urged the public to dissociate from the rioters and abide by the law, as well as condemn these violent acts together.
Police today also strongly condemned the rioters for injuring others and causing violent disruption, and emphasised that it will spare no effort in the investigation.
Up to 9.30pm, the force has arrested at least 180 people, mainly for offences such as participating in an unauthorised assembly, unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct in a public place.