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Pics/Videos: 300+ arrested in Hong Kong with water canons and more, over China’s new takeover law

Hong Kong Police (Studio Incendo/WikiCommons)
July 01, 2020

The People’s Republic of China enacted new security controls over the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong police conducted the first arrests under those new national security laws on Wednesday.

The mass arrest occurred at a shopping center in Hong Kong, The Guardian reported. In a tweet, the Hong Kong Police Force confirmed they had arrested more than 300 people, including nine for offenses relating to the new national security laws.

“#BREAKING More than 300 people have been arrested in #HongKong so far for offences like unlawful assemblies, disorderly conduct in public places, furious driving, and breach of the #NationalSecurityLaw, which accounted for 9 arrests (5 males & 4 females),” the Hong Kong police tweeted.

On Wednesday, protesters waving pro-independence flags outside the shopping center were warned by police that those who shouted pro-independence slogans could be charged under the new national security laws. Euronews reported that the first protester to be detained was arrested for carrying a Hong Kong independence flag.

One video purported to show protesters being hit with a police water cannon while standing on a street corner.

Wei Du, a correspondent with Channel News Asia, posted a video alongside a tweet that said, “The water canon truck accurately spotted me, by myself and in full press gear, holding a phone behind a lamp post.”

“Hong Kong police fired water cannon and tear gas as protesters took to the streets in defiance of sweeping security legislation introduced by China that critics say is aimed at snuffing out dissent,” Reuters tweeted in another video showing police making arrests.

In defiance of the new laws, protesters gathered in the hundreds in Hong Kong’s Times Square shouting pro Hong Kong independence slogans.

“At about 6PM, huge crowd chanting at Times Square and attempted to march towards Wai Chai,” one Twitter user tweeted.

#NOW Hundreds in defiance outside Times Square in Causeway Bay and chanted slogans including “One Nation, One Hong Kong”, in protest of the new national security law,” SCMP reporter Chan Ho-him tweeted.

Critics of the law, such as the Human Rights Watch, have criticized the new laws over Hong Kong as overly broad in scope and repressive in nature. The laws include broad terms for “sedition,” “subversion,” “succession” and “terrorism.”

Stuart Lau, a reporter for the South China Morning Post, tweeted images of portions of the law codifying succession as, “Anyone attempting to separate HK from China, or to illegally change the legal status of HK, or to transfer HK to a foreign country’s admin, faces a maximum of life imprisonment, if considered ‘masterminds’. Those who ‘actively’ participate face 3-10 yrs in jail.”