Hong Kong, Aug 25 (IANS) At least 29 people have been arrested for participating in a pro-democracy protest march in Hong Kong which led to violent clashes between police and the demonstrators, authorities said on Sunday.
The first day of the 12th consecutive weekend of protests ended on Saturday with the arrest of 19 man and 10 women, aged between 17 and 52, Efe news reported.
They have been accused of offences including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons and assaulting police officers, according to the police statement.
“Some radical protesters deviated from the original route and obstructed roads, damaging lamp-posts and assaulting police officers. Police strongly condemn the protesters’ behaviuors,” the police said in a statement.
The detainees include Venus Lau – one of the organizers of the march that had the permission from the police,
Venus was arrested on charges of unlawful assembly, her lawyer told Efe news.
Hospital authorities of the city said that at least 10 people were treated in public health facilities. Two of them were said to be critical.
After around 10 days of relative calm, Hong Kong witnessed tense situations on Saturday when thousands of protesters gathered in Kwun Tong, a working-class neighbourhood.
The police alleged that a group of protesters set up barricades to stop traffic and “used electric saws to damage a number of smart lamp-posts on Sheung Yuet Road, posing serious threat to the safety of people at scene and road users”.
“Protesters also hurled hard objects and petrol bombs at police officers, causing damage to police vehicles and leg injuries to a reporter,” the statement added.
The police carried out a dispersion operation by using what it called the “appropriate force to stop the violent acts by protesters”.
The massive street protests, which have been described as the biggest political crisis to hit the former British colony in decades, kicked off in June and have resulted in violent clashes between the demonstrators and the police.
The protests started as a movement against the now-shelved extradition bill, which would have enabled crime suspects to be extradited from Hong Kong to mainland China, a move which was seen by dissidents as the end of the judicial freedom enjoyed by the city.
Fresh marches, especially in the Tsuen Wan area, were expected on Sunday.