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02:31

Hong Kong: Scores arrested as protests persist over face mask ban

Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong
October 06, 2019 at 17:45 GMT +00:00 · Published

Scores of people were reportedly arrested by the police in Hong Kong on Sunday, as tensions escalated following the government's new ban on face masks, which was upheld by the High Court earlier in the day.

The city saw two large marches on Sunday. Protesters were seen wearing masks in defiance of the ban, hurling Molotov cocktails and rocks at the riot police, while the police fired tear gas in response. There were also reports of attacks on government buildings, train stations and businesses, with footage taken of vandalised branches of the China Construction Bank and Bank of China.

The new face mask ban, which came into effect at Friday midnight local time (16:00 GMT), was invoked by Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam us colonial-era emergency laws. The Emergency Regulations Ordinance law used to implement the ban was last applied during riots in 1967. Lam said during a press conference on Friday that the barring Hong Kongers from wearing face coverings at public rallies will provide a "deterrent effect" and is intended to stop violent acts occurring during protests.

On Sunday, the High Court rejected a bid by pro-democracy lawmakers to suspend the government's ban on wearing masks at protests. It was a second attempt to halt the ban. It follows an initial bid that was filed shortly after Lam's announcement of the ban.

The fresh protests are also reportedly fuelled by the police use of live bullets against demonstrators.

02:31
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Description

Scores of people were reportedly arrested by the police in Hong Kong on Sunday, as tensions escalated following the government's new ban on face masks, which was upheld by the High Court earlier in the day.

The city saw two large marches on Sunday. Protesters were seen wearing masks in defiance of the ban, hurling Molotov cocktails and rocks at the riot police, while the police fired tear gas in response. There were also reports of attacks on government buildings, train stations and businesses, with footage taken of vandalised branches of the China Construction Bank and Bank of China.

The new face mask ban, which came into effect at Friday midnight local time (16:00 GMT), was invoked by Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam us colonial-era emergency laws. The Emergency Regulations Ordinance law used to implement the ban was last applied during riots in 1967. Lam said during a press conference on Friday that the barring Hong Kongers from wearing face coverings at public rallies will provide a "deterrent effect" and is intended to stop violent acts occurring during protests.

On Sunday, the High Court rejected a bid by pro-democracy lawmakers to suspend the government's ban on wearing masks at protests. It was a second attempt to halt the ban. It follows an initial bid that was filed shortly after Lam's announcement of the ban.

The fresh protests are also reportedly fuelled by the police use of live bullets against demonstrators.

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