The Latest: Hong Kong police clear train station by force
HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on protests in Hong Kong (all times local):
Police in Hong Kong have cleared a train station by force after some protesters refused to disperse.
Police wearing heavy-duty helmets and wielding batons late Saturday suddenly rushed into Yuen Long station, where a few hundred protesters had taken refuge from tear gas following a banned march in the area earlier in the day.
Some officers swung their batons at protesters, prompting them to scream and run. Others appeared to be urging their colleagues to hang back. Blood splattered on the station floor.
One of the rally’s organizers said 288,000 people participated in the march, which was intended as a show of defiance against police as well as a white-clad mob that attacked people in Yuen Long station last Sunday. Most had left the area by the time police charged into the station.
Police in Hong Kong have warned protesters that they may be arrested if they refuse to leave a gathering around a train station.
Police said in a statement Saturday evening that most protesters who participated in a rally in the city’s Yuen Long area earlier in the day had already left, but that some remained near the mass transit station.
The station was the site of a brutal mob attack last Sunday night, when unknown white-clad man beat up protesters and other commuters.
The police statement said “protesters are participating in an unauthorized assembly” and could be jailed for up to five years.
Thousands marched through the area Saturday despite a letter of objection from police banning the procession.
Hong Kong police have fired tear gas at protesters who defied police warnings not to march in a neighborhood where six days earlier a mob apparently targeting demonstrators brutally attacked people in a train station.
Officers in riot gear shot the tear gas Saturday into a crowd of demonstrators who were standing their ground despite appeals from police to end the unsanctioned procession.
The protesters gathered in Yuen Long in a show of defiance against the white-clad assailants who beat dozens of people last Sunday night.
Massive demonstrations began in Hong Kong early last month against an extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to face trial in mainland China, where critics say their rights would be compromised.
Hong Kong police say a man has been arrested for hurting another with a knife in the area where a pro-democracy protest is scheduled to kick off.
A police spokeswoman said Saturday that the man was suspected of common assault.
Protesters have started gathering in Yuen Long, where a mob brutally attacked people in a commuter rail station last Sunday. Saturday’s demonstration, which has been banned by police, is intended as a show of defiance against the unknown assailants, who beat dozens of people and wore white in apparent opposition to the protesters’ trademark black.
Massive demonstrations began in Hong Kong last month against an extradition bill, which has since been suspended. Protesters’ demands include direct elections, the dissolution of the current legislature and an investigation into alleged police brutality.