Hong Kong policemen stand in distance after protesters threw a petrol bomb in Tsuen Wan district in Hong Kong on Aug 25, 2019. Hong Kong police issued a press statement early Aug 26, 2019 severely condemning protestors who purposefully harmed police officers on duty. (PHILIP FONG / AFP)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong police issued a press statement early Monday severely condemning protestors who purposefully harmed police officers on duty.
Police also said proportionate use of force will be made to prevent incidents from escalating only when it was assessed that violent acts or illegal behaviours were endangering the safety of people at a scene
Pointing out how protesters deviated from the sanctioned route at Tsuen Wan on Sunday, obstructing roads, vandalising shops and tunnel facilities, hurling petrol bombs, bricks and miscellaneous objects at police officers, the force appealed to members of the public to make a clean break with violent protestors and stay away from areas where violence was unfolding.
Police also said proportionate use of force will be made to prevent incidents from escalating only when it was assessed that violent acts or illegal behaviours were endangering the safety of people at a scene.
According to the press release, around 3.35pm Sunday, some radical protestors blocked a number of roads in Tsuen Wan, including Luen Yan Street, Yeung Uk Street and Texaco Road, and set up barricades with water-filled barriers, bamboo sticks and other objects, paralysing traffic in Tsuen Wan. Protestors also directed laser beams at officers and hurled bricks, hard objects and petrol bombs at them, apart from setting up barricades.
ALSO READ: Govt: HK on verge of extreme danger
When multiple warnings to protestors to disperse went in vain, around 5.30pm, police officers used appropriate force, including deploying tear gas and two specialised crowd management vehicles, according to the press release.
At around 7.40 pm, a large group of extremely violent protestors vandalized shops and entertainment venues at Yi Pei Square, Tsuen Wan and officers came under attack.
As protestors continued to hurl hard objects at officers and attacked them with different weapons, police continued to issue warnings. In the commotion, one of the officers under attack fell, and facing threats to life, six police officers withdrew pistols and stayed on guard while continuing to issue warnings to the protestors.
According to the press release, left without any choice, one of the police officers fired a warning shot in the air.
The protestors later spread out to different areas of Hong Kong, including Sham Shui Po, Tsim Sha Tsui, Sha Tin and the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, and aimed laser beams and hurled objects at police officers. They also vandalised facilities and set up barricades with miscellaneous objects at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel to paralyse traffic, according to the pres release.
In the press release, the force said, during operations, 15 police officers were injured and were receiving treatment at hospital.
In a separate statement, the government said Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo visited injured police officers at Princess Margaret Hospital.
He condemned the reckless and unlawful acts by rioters, adding police would investigate all violent acts that had caused serious and life-threatening injuries.
Police arrested 29 men and seven women, aged 12 to 48, for offences, including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapon and assaulting police officers, according to the press release issued by the force.
Police also hope that journalists would cooperate with police operations and pay attention to their own safety. The force pledged to take relentless enforcement action to bring perpetrators to justice.
Call for cooperation from reporters
The Junior Police Officers’ Association of the Hong Kong Police Force (JPOA) on Monday appealed to reporters covering violent protests to cooperate with police.
In a statement issued Monday, the association said that some reporters constantly came between protesters and police during violent clashes that erupted over the weekend.
This not only posed a great threat to reporters’ safety but also severely hindered police operations, the association said in the statement.
Copyright 1995 - 2023. All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily. Without written authorization from China Daily, such content shall not be republished or used in any form.
HONG KONG NEWS