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Police arrest more than 200 protesters in Hong Kong

A pro-democracy movement has shown signs of reviving in recent weeks as the coronavirus threat eases.

Police presence on the streets following the arrests.
Police presence on the streets following the arrests.
Image: PA

MORE THAN 200 people have been arrested in Hong Kong during anti-government protests last night, according to media reports.

Police have not released a tally but said that at around midnight local time they were conducting dispersal and arrest operations after giving repeated warnings.

They said the protesters chanted slogans and built barriers to block roads in the city’s Mongkok district, and set fires on some streets.

A pro-democracy movement that paralysed Hong Kong for months last year has shown signs of reviving in recent weeks as the coronavirus threat eases. The government recently decided to allow public gatherings of eight people, up from four previously.

The Apple Daily newspaper said more than 200 people were arrested, and the South China Morning Post put the total at more than 250. Both cited unnamed sources. Police were tabulating the arrests and expected to release numbers later today.

The nighttime street action followed multiple protests at shopping centres earlier in the day. Protesters are demanding full democracy in the semi-autonomous Chinese city and an investigation into alleged police brutality in suppressing the demonstrations.

The protests were sparked by a now-abandoned extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial. China’s judicial system is murkier than Hong Kong’s and does not guarantee the same rights to the accused.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched through Hong Kong last year in repeated demonstrations that often ended in violence.

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