Hong Kong police have arrested 289 people at protests over election delay.
Hundreds took to the streets on Sunday September 6, 2020, to demonstrate against the postponement of legislative election and the new security law.
Police said that 289 people were arrested, mostly for unlawful assembly.
“One woman was arrested in the Kowloon district of Yau Ma Tei on charges of assault and spreading pro-independence slogans,” the police department said.It said such slogans are illegal under a newly enacted national security law.
Sunday was meant to be voting day for the city’s partially elected legislature, one of the few instances where Hong Kong voters get to cast ballots.But Chief Executive Carrie Lam on July 31 postponed the election for one year, citing a surge in novel coronavirus cases.
Critics say her government worried the opposition would gain seats if voting was held as scheduled.
The poll would have been the former British colony’s first official vote since Beijing imposed the new security legislation in late June, which critics say aims to quash dissent in the city.
Anti-government protests have been held in Hong Kong almost every weekend since June 2019.
They erupted over opposition to a proposed extradition law and spread to include demands for greater democracy and criticism of Beijing’s efforts to tighten control over the city.
Thousands of police were stationed around the bustling Kowloon Peninsula on Sunday as marchers waved placards and chanted popular anti-government slogans such as, “liberate Hong Kong”.
Police fired pepper balls at protesters in Kowloon’s Mong Kong neighbourhood, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.
“I want my right to vote,” activist Leung Kwok-hung, popularly known as Long Hair, was quoted as saying.