Police officers take up positions along Connaught Road West in Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, on July 28, 2019. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG — Hong Kong police on Monday severely condemned illegal acts by radical protesters who vandalized government property, committed arson, and attacked police officers with a number of lethal weapons during protests in Sai Ying Pun and Sheung Wan on Sunday, according to a government press release issued early morning Monday.
The statement follows the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government's early Monday morning condemnation of the violence perpetrated by radical protesters and reaffirmation of pledge to stand by the city's police force.
READ MORE: HK govt denounces violence, arson
In the press release, police noted that although they had objected to the application for a public procession from Chater Garden to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, the force facililated a public meeting in Chater Garden in Central at 3.00 pm.
In relation to Sunday's incident, police said at least 49 persons have been arrested for offenses including unauthorized assembly and possession of offensive weapon
Around 3.30 pm, a large group of protesters proceeded eastward and westward, blocking carriageways in Sai Ying Pun and Causeway Bay respectively. Protesters in Causeway Bay also destroyed government property and created road blocks. Traffic in a number of areas on Hong Kong Island was disrupted as a result, according to the press release.
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At 7 pm, protesters who gathered around Western Police Station hurled objects including bricks at police officers. To prevent the situation from getting worse, police used appropriate force and conducted dispersal operation, according to the press release in which police clearly stated that the use of tear gas was to establish a safe distance between protestors and the police in order to avoid direct confrontation.
During the dispersal operation, protesters started fires at various locations, according to the press release.
At the junction of Des Voeux Road Central and Morrison Street, some even set fire to a trolley of discarded cartons and used objects and pushed the burning trolley toward police officers, seriously threatening the safety of everyone at the scene.
Police said the radical protesters’ acts were getting increasingly violent, which have escalated from removing railings, hurling metal poles and bricks to extensive arson and destruction
Protesters also attacked police officers by hurling bricks, glass bottles, paint bombs; pouring suspected corrosive liquids; and shooting metal marbles with a crossbow, according to the press release.
Police said "lethal weapons" such as bows and arrows were seized at the scene.
In relation to Sunday's incident, police said they arrested at least 49 persons for offenses including unauthorized assembly and possession of offensive weapon.
Police noted that the radical protesters’ acts were getting increasingly violent, ranging from involving removal of railings, hurling metal poles and bricks at officers to extensive arson and destruction, according to the press release.
Police said they severely condemned such behaviors, which have obviously deviated from the principle of expressing opinions in a peaceful manner, and reiterated the determination and capability to bring offenders to justice.
The government appealed to members of the public to express views in a peaceful and rational manner and abide by the law in a press release quoting a spokesperson issued early Monday morning.
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