Hong Kong police have banned a protest and rally set for Sunday citing safety concerns and past instances of violence.
Last Friday, the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) applied for a letter of no objection for a march that would start at East Point Road in Causeway Bay and end at Chater Road in Central.
The march was meant to reiterate the five core demands of the anti-extradition law movement, with organisers saying that it was not enough for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to withdraw the bill.
In a letter to CHRF convenor Jimmy Sham, police said that the ban was made on the grounds of “public safety, public order and the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”
Police included a list of 25 protest events since June which involved clashes.
“The public meeting and march that you proposed is very close to high-risk facilities, including Causeway Bay MTR station, Wan Chai MTR station, Wan Chai Police Headquarters, Admiralty MTR station, Central Government Offices, Central MTR station, Government House and the Court of Final Appeal,” police added.
Protesters were likely to deviate from the proposed route and use violence to attack the buildings, the letter read.
The pro-democracy coalition – which attracted millions to their previous marches this summer – will appeal the decision.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s metro operator said on Thursday that it will not provide overnight train services during Saturday’s Mid-Autumn Festival, departing from past practices.
The decision was made after having “conducted a risk assessment with relevant government departments in the light of the recent situation,” the MTR Corporation said.
Train frequencies will be stepped up from 3pm on Friday to cope with increased passenger flow, the rail operator added.
The MTR has become protesters’ latest target in a long summer of dissent, triggered by ill-fated extradition bill. Since June, large-scale peaceful protests have morphed into sometimes violent demonstrations over Beijing’s encroachment and alleged police brutality.
Women’s group at UN
Separately, billionaire businesswoman Pansy Ho spoke at the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday to condemn the “increasingly escalating violent acts of the Hong Kong radical protesters.” Ho was speaking in her capacity as the head of the Hong Kong Federation of Women, of which Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is an honourary patron.
“An alarming rate of young children are running away from home to become frontline riot fighters radicalised to perpetrate criminal acts,” she claimed.
“Children of all ages are indoctrinated with police hatred and anti-establishment beliefs at school and online, mobilised to conduct massive school strikes.”
Ho said that the protests have resulted in friction in the schoolyard and in homes, adding that small businesses were also forced to close, leaving workers jobless. She called on the international community to reprimand those “promote hatred and violent extremism” in Hong Kong.
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