A reporter was accused of assaulting a police officer and briefly detained during clearances of flash mob protests across Hong Kong on Monday night.

The reporter, from the Chinese state-controlled Ta Kung Pao, was helping another injured journalist in Sham Shui Po when he was accused of pushing away riot police.

He was carried away by several officers into Sham Shui Po police station as other reporters shouted “why are you arresting a journalist?” and “give an explanation.”

After 15 minutes, the Ta Kung Pao journalist was released, and told other reporters that it was a “misunderstanding”.

Tear gas in Tuen Mun. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Monday’s general strike and authorised rallies at seven districts turned into city-wide skirmishes with police before the end of the afternoon.

Between dusk and midnight, protesters besieged different police stations across the city. Some threw objects including Molotov cocktails into the buildings, and lit fires at entrances.

Flashpoints included Sham Shui Po, Sha Tin, Mong Kok, Tin Shui Wai, Tuen Mun, North Point, Kwun Tong, Kwai Chung, and the Wanchai police headquarters. In North Point and Tsuen Wan, unknown groups of armed men attacked protesters, but were beaten back.

Many of the mobile protests were dispersed with tear gas as riot police advanced, with protesters calling the use of the chemical a “tear gas buffet.” Some covered the canisters with metal pots and doused them with water to neutralise their effect.

As mass protests in Hong Kong enter their third month, police have announced that they will hold daily press conferences – an arrangement previously seen during the 2014 Umbrella Movement.

Officials from Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of China’s State Council are also set to hold their second press conference in as many weeks on the situation in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.