At least 60 people have been arrested in Causeway Bay on charges of participating in an unauthorized rally, police said.
A 23-year-old man was also arrested for possession of an offensive weapon and a 35-year-old man was arrested for vehicle registration offenses and for possessing masks and stickers with pro-independence slogans .
The large-scale protests of 2019 have not returned to Hong Kong, due to the pandemic and the national security law imposed on the region by Beijing three months ago.
At a National Day breakfast Thursday, Hong Kong Managing Director Carrie Lam said her government would not be deterred by the sanctions imposed on it by the international community in response to the security law. and the widespread repression of dissent.
“Over the past three months, the simple truth is – and it is obvious to see – that stability has been restored in society while national security has been safeguarded, and that our people can continue to enjoy their rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the law. , ” she says.
“So no matter how severe some foreign governments, holding double standards, will bring unwarranted charges against the authorities responsible for implementing the national security law, or aggressively impose new sanctions against the HKSAR.” . [Hong Kong special administrative region] Responsible for safeguarding national security, my colleagues and I will continue to discharge our duty to protect national security in accordance with the law without fear or anxiety. ”
However, there remains strong resistance in Hong Kong, and crowds and activists gathered on Thursday. Some risked violating national security law by chanting “five demands, not one less” or independence slogans, while others held up copies of the pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily. Some mocked the police and a man flew the flag of East Turkestan, known as China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
Many have called for the release of 12 Hong Kong people detained in mainland China after being arrested by Chinese coastguards who allegedly tried to flee by boat to Taiwan.
The Hong Kong government has refused to intervene in the case, saying the group – including a 16-year-old, all previously arrested due to protests or the National Security Act – should face justice mainland before responding to local accusations of protest activities.
According to reports on the ground, police quickly reacted to any pro-democracy activity on Thursday, issuing fines for assembling in violation of pandemic restrictions, but did not appear to take action against people celebrating the national day against the restrictions.