Hong Kong leader invokes emergency powers to ban masks during protests

Hong Kong Police

Hong Kong Police

More than 1,000 students marched onat the Chinese University of Hong Kong to support Tsang and in support of the protesters' five demands of full democracy, an amnesty for the thousands of protesters arrested since June, an end to the official description of protesters as "rioters", an independent inquiry into police violence and the formal withdrawal of a legal bill that would enable extradition to mainland China.

An updated version of the police procedures manual published on September 30 said officers were allowed to use their firearms if faced with an attack that intended "to cause death or serious physical injury", rather than by an attacker wielding "deadly force", which was the condition specified in the previous version.

People can still wear masks in the street, but must remove them if asked to by police.

"The guidelines on the use of force involve details of operation". In recent weeks, the demonstrations have taken on a broader - and increasingly violent - anti-China sentiment.

The government made a decision to impose the ban under the law giving police sweeping emergency powers in a special meeting of the city's Executive Council, media outlets TVB and Cable TV reported.

Protesters, fired up over the shooting of the young man this week, planned more demonstrations at shopping malls across 11 districts to begin October 3 and extending through the weekend.

The opposition to the Beijing-backed government has plunged the city into its biggest political crisis in decades and poses the gravest popular challenge to President Xi Jinping since he came to power.

But protesters who have flooded the streets since June are certain about what they don't want: For Hong Kong to become like all of China's other cities, its special freedoms snuffed out, its status lost as a freewheeling global hub for business and ideas.

Article 14 of the Basic Law - Hong Kong's mini-constitution since its handover to China in 1997 - allows the local government to request help from the People's Liberation Army garrisons in the city in the event of a public order breakdown.

Police associations and pro-Beijing politicians have called for tougher measures, including curfews and other measures under emergency powers legislation.

Hong Kong lawmaker Elizabeth Quat told a news conference, "Demonstrators are carrying out violent acts because they've been able to hide their identities and avoid accountability".

Despite this, protesters feared the bill could be revived, so demonstrations continued, calling for it to be withdrawn completely.

Anti-government protesters make way for taxis passing through, during a march in Causeway Bay. "The result will be riots".

"We can not work alone-clapping only with one hand-without appropriate measures and support from top level", Lam said. And protesters have thrown rocks and bricks, vandalized property and beaten police officers.

Tsang Chi-kin, also known as Tony Tsang, who was shot at close range on Tuesday as he fought officers with what appeared to be a white pole, has been charged with rioting, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence, and assaulting a police officer.

The wounded protester was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he underwent emergency surgery. But about 200 supporters turned up to watch the proceedings. "We are talking about people who use illegal violence", she added.

The European Union said in a statement it was deeply troubled by the escalation of violence and the only way forward was through "restraint, de-escalation, and dialogue".

But the protests have also split families.

Since a deadly SARS outbreak in 2003, face masks have become ubiquitous in Hong Kong.

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