Saturday, 30 May 2020

Hong Kong violence explodes after activist 'attacked by triads'

Protesters hurled petrol bombs at Hong Kong police amid a new escalation of violence over an attack on a leading activist by men allegedly linked to triad gangsters.

Clashes broke out again yesterday as tens of thousands took to the streets for an unsanctioned anti-government march, many also defying a face mask ban.

Tensions ran high after Jimmy Sham, the leader of the Civil Human Rights Front, which called the march, was attacked earlier in the week by men wielding metal poles and hammers.

Witnesses said that those responsible for the assault were associated with pro-Beijing triads blamed for previous violence against protesters.

On Saturday afternoon, a 19-year-old activist was also taken to hospital after being stabbed in the abdomen.

Politically motivated attacks have been on the rise while protesters are now vandalising shops, banks, and businesses associated with mainland China.

As peaceful marchers branched off from the more radical, black-clad frontline protesters near Tsim Sha Tsui police station, violence flared with demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails and setting fire to barricades.

Riot police responded with baton charges and fired volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets. At least 24 people were hurt and treated in hospital, including six with serious injuries.

As the march set off, protest leaders carried a black banner that read “five main demands, not one less”, as they pressed their calls for police accountability and political rights.

On Saturday, police arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of stabbing a teenage activist who was distributing leaflets near a wall plastered with pro-democracy messages.

A witness said the assailant shouted Hong Kong is “a part of China” and other pro-Beijing messages. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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