Hong Kong police fire tear gas as protesters decry China security law plan
- 24 May 2020
Police in Hong Kong have fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters rallying against China's plans to impose a new security law on the territory, APA reports citing BBC.
Thousands of demonstrators have been marching through the city centre. Police say 120 have been arrested.
Earlier, 200 senior politicians from around the world issued a joint statement criticising China's plan.
Signatories called it a "comprehensive assault on the city's autonomy, rule of law and fundamental freedoms".
China is seeking to pass a law that would ban "treason, secession, sedition and subversion" in the territory.
It has dismissed fears the legislation would harm foreign investors in Hong Kong, an important financial centre, and has lashed out at "meddling" countries.
Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam, who is seen as part of the pro-Beijing political establishment, has pledged full support for the proposed law and said the city's freedoms would remain unchanged.
How are the latest demonstrations unfolding?
Protesters gathered in the busy Causeway Bay and Wan Chai districts of the city on Sunday, chanting slogans against the government and waving banners.
Riot police fired tear gas and water cannon at demonstrators, who were wearing face masks to protect against the spread of coronavirus.
The rally comes despite earlier warnings from authorities against unauthorised assembly and a ban on large public gatherings to enforce social distancing.
Some protesters threw objects such as umbrellas and water bottles at officers, and used bins and other debris to set up road blocks.
Reports say Sunday's protest followed a similar pattern to many of last year's demonstrations, many of which turned violent.
More than 8,400 people have been arrested in Hong Kong since pro-democracy protests erupted last year.