Hong Kong Police Disperse Protesters Gathered at City Mall

Hong Kong police dispersed more than 100 protesters who had congregated on a couple floors in a shopping mall Sunday in defiance of a regulation banning groups of more than four people to help stem the coronavirus pandemic.

The demonstration came a week afterthe arrest of 15 prominent pro-democracy activists in connection with unauthorized assemblies last year. The protesters in Cityplaza mall in Taikoo Shing, near Quarry Bay in eastern Hong Kong island, carried posters in support of those arrested, opposing new security laws and calling for the “liberation” of Hong Kong.

On Friday, about 100 pro-democracy protestersrallied at a luxury downtown mall at lunchtime in one of the largest demonstrations since the Covid-19 pandemic descended on the city early this year. The outbreak effectively halted pro-democracy protests that had rocked Hong Kong for months.

Hong Kong police said in astatement that such gatherings were prohibited even if protesters clustered in separated groups of four, “as long as the persons gather for a common purpose in public place.” On Friday, the government hadrejected an application by a pro-democracy labor group for a May 1 march, citing concerns about public health and security risks.

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