Hong Kong protesters condemn ‘unreasonable’ police violence
Robie de Guzman • June 14, 2019 • 2301
Hong Kong demonstrators who experienced tear gas when the anti-extradition protest turned violent said on Thursday (June 13) that they condemned the ‘unreasonable’ use of force by the police.
Hundreds of people remained on the streets to protest a planned extradition law with mainland China, a day after police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray in a series of skirmishes to clear demonstrators from the legislature, with officials saying 72 people had been admitted to hospital by 10 p.m.
Uniformed police with helmets and shields blocked overhead walkways in Hong Kong’s financial district on Thursday, while a long row of police vans was parked nearby.
Plainclothes police officers checked commuters’ identity papers as a massive clean-up was underway, clearing streets of debris, like broken umbrellas used by protesters to protect themselves and broken baricades, left from the violent clashes.
Protesters, some still wearing face masks and goggles in case police once again use tear gas, were joined by students during the day.
But their numbers eased off later to a few hundred, after a Legislative Council meeting to discuss the extradition bill was postponed. (REUTERS)
TikTok said it will exit the Hong Kong market within days, a spokesman told Reuters late on Monday (July 6), as other technology companies including Facebook Inc have suspended processing government requests for user data in the region.
The short form video app owned by China-based ByteDance has made the decision to exit the region following China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.
Late on Monday, the U.S. secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said that the United States is “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.
U.S. lawmakers have raised national security concerns over TikTok’s handling of user data, saying they were worried about Chinese laws requiring domestic companies “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
The company, now run by former Walt Disney Co executive Kevin Mayer, has said in the past that the app’s user data is not stored in China. (Reuters)
Hong Kong residents said on Tuesday (July 7) that they believe fear is spreading over freedom of expression online and expressed worries that some social media platforms may simply become unavailable amid a new sweeping national security law in the semi-autonomous city.
It comes as Facebook Inc, Google Inc and Twitter Inc said that they had suspended processing of government requests for user data in Hong Kong on Monday (July 6).
China’s parliament passed the national security legislation last week, setting the stage for the most radical changes to the former British colony’s way of life since it returned to Chinese rule 23 years ago.
Despite the tech companies’ announcement, resident Yan Pat-to, 45, said he believes authorities will find other ways to access users’ data.
“I think the worry or the fear is already spread over Hong Kong about the cyber expression of the freedoms here,” he said.
Tech companies have long operated freely in Hong Kong, a regional financial hub where internet access has been unaffected by the firewall imposed in mainland China, which blocks Google, Twitter and Facebook.
In addition to the announcements by the U.S tech giants, TikTok, the short-form video app owned by China-based ByteDance, said it would pull out of the Hong Kong market within days. (Reuters)
China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday (July 2) that Britain would bear all consequences for any move it took to offer Hong Kong citizens a path to settlement in the UK.
China reserved the right to act against Britain over the issue, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing, without specifying what countermeasures Beijing might take.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and that Britain would offer around 3 million residents of the former colony a path to British citizenship. (Reuters)
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