Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu (left) and the city's Commissioner of Police Lo Wai-chung meet the press at the police headquarters in Wan Chai on June 27, 2019. (ROY LIU / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s security chief on Thursday criticized the provocative acts against the city’s police force during the six-hour siege of police headquarters in Wan Chai late Wednesday night.
The remarks by Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu came on the same day Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung called for calm and said Hong Kong will not tolerate illegal acts.
Cheung expressed concern after demonstrators surrounded the police headquarters for the second time in a week, blocking nearby roads and interrupting a police officer who was on his way to work.
He said the police handled its challenges with the utmost tolerance.
The chief secretary urged demonstrators to express their views lawfully and peacefully, adding the government respects the public’s right to procession and assembly as well as the freedom of expression.
Security chief Lee Ka-chiu called demonstrators’ behavior a “fragrant provocation”, which has gone far beyond the bottom line of freedom of speech and expression
Meeting the press in the afternoon, Lee called demonstrators’ behavior a “fragrant provocation”, which has gone far beyond the bottom line of freedom of speech and expression.
Some protestors were seen blocking all entrances of the headquarters complex with metal barriers, and throwing eggs and bottles at the building’s walls to express their dissatisfaction with the special administrative region government’s handling of the now-suspended extradition bill. Some also flashed laser pointers at police officers’ eyes.
Lee acknowledged the officers’ restrained attitude when faced with such provocative behaviors and expressed his gratitude to them.
He said police will take proper actions to handle behaviors that pose danger at public order and security.
“No matter how dissatisfied one feel about the SAR government, please don't vent the anger to the police,” Lee said.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung strongly condemned the unlawful acts of some protestors, stressing thorough investigations will be conducted.
The restrained attitude of the police does not mean there will be no consequences for unlawful acts, Lo said.
According to Lo, one person was arrested for assaulting a police officer during the siege outside the headquarters.
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