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Home Uncategorised Hong Kong: Face mask ban prompts thousands to protest - BBC News

Hong Kong: Face mask ban prompts thousands to protest – BBC News


Protesters set fires outside Causeway Bay station in Hong Kong after the government banned face masksFile copyright
AFP/Getty

File caption

Some demonstrators vandalised firms, blocked roads and house fires whereas police fired lumber gasoline

Thousands win joined unplanned protests in Hong Kong after the territory’s authorities introduced a face veil ban, which got here into enact on the midnights (16: 00 GMT).

Chief govt Carrie Lam invoked a colonial-era emergency legislation in a order to quell months of anti-authorities unrest.

The ban comes after an escalation of violence all by way of protests on 1 October, when an officer shot a demonstrator.

Experiences on Friday said a 14-yr-previous had been shot within the leg.

He is reportedly being handled at Tuen Mun hospital and is in a extreme situation.

A police assertion revealed by the South China Morning Submit confirmed an officer “fired one shot as his existence turned into once under severe menace” after being attacked by an enormous neighborhood of protesters – although it doesn’t utter anyone became as soon as hit.

Protesters erupted instantly after the ban became as soon as introduced.

Many left work early to affix the spontaneous demonstrations. Some mad protesters blocked roads, torched Chinese language language flags and vandalised stations and corporations, as police fired rounds of lumber gasoline.

The territory’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) introduced a chunky provider suspension of all trains. A spokesman instructed the BBC this became as soon as attributable to vandalism and assaults on crew.

Conceal-carrying activists had moreover earlier referred to as on others to attain on masks in defiance of the federal government, which critics nervousness is popping into an growing variety of authoritarian.

Ms Lam said she became as soon as compelled to place in energy the colonial-era legislation attributable to violence on the now-weekly protests became as soon as “destroying the town”, and he or she might maybe additionally not enable the self-discipline “to glean worse and worse”.

The dwell of anonymity

Danny Vincent, BBC News, Hong Kong

Wrathful protesters chanted as they marched by way of the center of this monetary hub. They ripped down a banner marking 70 years of communist rule, setting it alight in entrance of a cheering crowd.

Tons of wore masks in defiance of the ban.

Media playback is unsupported to your instrument

Media captionDiscover the second protesters burn a banner after Hong Kong’s face veil ban

Just lately may very well be the ultimate time demonstrators can camouflage their faces legally. Anonymity has change right into a key fraction of this circulation however many nervousness that the introduction of this emergency legislation might maybe additionally lead to further restrictions.

This affirm circulation started in opposition to an extradition invoice now withdrawn from the legislature. Using the emergency legislation did not win to wade by way of the legislative physique.

Carrie Lam insists that the territory just isn’t in a order of emergency, however the legislation permits her to take further emergency measures.

What’s been the response to the ban?

Observers utter the legislation might maybe be laborious to implement and vastly controversial: critics win warned the veil ban might maybe additionally merely be the primary in a collection of “draconian” measures.

“This would possibly perhaps be a watershed. This would possibly perhaps be a Rubicon,” skilled-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo instructed information company AFP. “And I am shy this could also simply be factual a starter. More draconian bans in the name of law would possibly perhaps also simply be lurking across the corner.”

The announcement has moreover precipitated response from further afield, with Marta Hurtado, the United International locations human rights spokeswoman, noting at a information conference in Geneva that “any restriction will deserve to win a basis in law and be proportionate and as least intrusive as imaginable”.

UK Worldwide Secretary Dominic Raab, in the meantime, has said “political dialogue is the finest manner to glean to the bottom of the discipline”.

The assign does the ban apply?

The ban will apply for licensed and unapproved public assemblies – rallies and marches – as correctly as in illegal assemblies and riots.

The ban covers all forms of facial masking, together with face paint. Protesters win an growing variety of previous masks for a sequence of causes, together with to disguise their identities – from employers, people and, in some circumstances, police – and to defend themselves from lumber gasoline.

File copyright
EPA

File caption

The ban targets all method of facial coverings

There are exemptions for people carrying masks for well being causes, or if required by their career.

Ms Lam said “violence had been escalating to alarming stages” ensuing in a self-discipline of “chaos and fright” within the city.

What is the Emergency Laws Ordinance?

The laws invoked by Ms Lam, referred to as the Emergency Laws Ordinance, dates to 1922 and has not been ragged in higher than 50 years.

It permits the chief govt to keep away from the present legislative process, the assign funds win to wade by way of the city’s parliament, the Legislative Council.

File copyright
AFP

File caption

Protesters win most frequently previous face masks to camouflage their identification

The ERO became as soon as last ragged in 1967 to help dwell riots within the territory’s buying and selling hub.

Ms Lam wired the model new legislation did not suggest that Hong Kong became as soon as in a order of emergency. However she said the city became as soon as “in a order of severe public possibility”.

What is the background?

Hong Kong’s protests started in June, sparked by proposals to extradite suspected criminals to mainland China.

The extradition invoice has since been cancelled however protests win widened into skilled-democracy and anti-police demonstrations.

Media playback is unsupported to your instrument

Media captionHow Hong Kong obtained trapped in a cycle of violence

Over the months, clashes between police and activists win grow to be an growing variety of violent. On Tuesday, police shot a protester within the chest with a are residing bullet for the primary time.

Authorities utter the 18-yr-previous – who became as soon as attacking police and became as soon as arrested after being shot – is in a steady situation in hospital.

Hong Kong is a ragged British colony handed help to China in 1997.

It has a “one nation, two programs” settlement that ensures it some autonomy, and its people apparent freedoms, together with freedom of meeting and freedom of speech.

However these freedoms – the Normal Regulation – expire in 2047 and it isn’t determined what Hong Kong’s house will then be.

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