Protests return in Hong Kong against new law

Pro-democracy protesters against Beijing’s national security legislation in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong. Image: AP/Vincent Yu

DHARAMSALA, 25 May: Thousands have taken to the street yet again to protest against Beijing’s plan to impose a new national security law in Hong Kong on Sunday.

“In a return of the unrest that roiled Hong Kong last year, crowds thronged the Causeway Bay shopping area in defiance of curbs imposed to contain the coronavirus,” the Al Jazeera reported.

Protesters were heard chanting “Hong Kong independence, the only way out” along the streets as “police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse the rally to protest against Beijing’s plan to impose a new national security law on the semi-autonomous city.”

The report described the “calls for independence” by the Hongkongers as anathema to the Chinese Communist leaders and that the new proposed law as Beijing’s intent “to prevent, stop and punish” such acts.

The protest rally also witnessed face-off between the police and demonstrators at dusk. The protest, according to the report poses “a new challenge to Beijing’s authority as it struggles to tame public opposition to its tightening grip over Hong Kong, a trade and business gateway for mainland China.”

The proposed security law also drew rebukes from foreign governments, human rights groups and some business lobbies.

“I am worried that after the implementation of the national security law, they will go after those being charged before and the police will be further out of control,” Twinnie, a 16-year-old secondary school student was quoted as saying in the report.

“I am afraid of being arrested but I still need to come out and protest for the future of Hong Kong.”

Protesters, tear gas and riot police have been a regular sight on the streets of Hong Kong for months before the restriction imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus kept protesters largely off the streets in recent months. 

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