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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Hong Kong police arrest at least 3 people on the anniversary of the 2019 extradition protest

HONG KONG – Hong Kong police arrested at least three protesters on the occasion of a mass protest against an extradition bill involving China in 2019, which shook the financial center and eventually led to Beijing enacting its ‘National Security Act’ which suffocated the difference of opinion in the city by holding anti-government speech and organizing it illegally.

The protesters were arrested for disorderly conduct and failure to provide identity, while at least ten people were summoned for violating a ban on rallies, police said after protests in the Kowloon district of Mongkok and the chanting of slogans in conflict with a national Security Act introduced last June.

Some people blocked roads by placing garbage cans and other objects in them, police said.

“Police are condemning protectors’ actions that endanger public health and safety,” police said in a Facebook post shortly before midnight on Saturday.

Police said the three people arrested were men aged 15 to 19.

Small groups gathered on Saturday to commemorate the first major clashes between protesters and police two years ago when tens of thousands protested against a proposed law for the former British colony that would allow criminals to be extradited to the mainland for trial.

Many Hong Kong residents saw the proposed law as a further erosion of the city’s special status which, according to a formula ‘one country, two systems’ had to be guaranteed when Britain handed it over to China’s ruling Communist Party in 1997.

The 2019 protests snowballed into a mass movement for freedom of the Chinese regime and liberal democracy in the ensuing months, as opposed to China’s socialist democracy, which included frequent clashes between protesters and police that fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

Protesters of extradition bill in Hong Kong
Protesters occupy Harcourt Road, the government headquarters in Admiralty, Hong Kong, on June 12, 2019. (Lin Yi / The Epoch Times)
Hong Kong protest against extradition (1)
Hong Kong protest against extradition (1)
On June 12, 2019, police fired tear gas at protesters near the Hong Kong Legislative Council. (Song Bilong / The Epoch Times)

Police deployed 2,000 officers in the city on Saturday, the South China Morning Post reported.

Police said on the eve of the anniversary that they had arrested two people, presumably that they had promoted and encouraged others to join an illegal meeting. The activist group Student Politics said two of its leaders had been arrested.

There were no signs of protests on Sunday.

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