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Protestor shot, man burns in Hong Kong unrest

Jack Burton

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Police are warning that Hong Kong’s rule of law has been pushed to the “brink of total collapse”. The protests have been lingering for five months now.

The warning came as protesters clashed with police across the city again yesterday (Tuesday).

On Monday, a police officer shot a masked protester and a man was set on fire during one of Hong Kong’s worst days of clashes in decades. Footage of the shooting, broadcast live on Facebook by a bystander, showed a policeman drawing a pistol as he tried to arrest a masked person at a junction that was blocked by protesters.

Another unarmed masked protester approached and was shot in the stomach. Authorities say he’s in critical condition in hospital.

Police chiefs defended the shooting, saying the officer feared for his safety. But protesters, who have accused police of using excessive force for months and demanded an independent inquiry into their actions, were incensed.

Tensions were already high after the death of a 22 year old student died after a suspicious fall a week before.

Police fired tear gas into thousands of protesters at lunchtime on Monday in Central, the downtown district that’s home to global conglomerates and luxury brands. Protesters, mostly wearing office clothes, chanted “murderers”. Tear gas and rubber bullets were fired at various hot spots around the city, including university campuses.

A video posted on social media showed a policeman officer trying to drive his motorbike into a crowd of protesters. Police say the officer has been suspended pending a full enquiry. A masked assailant doused a man with flammable liquid and set him on fire, and the entire event was caught on mobile phones and posted online.

Police insist a protester was responsible and also accused black-clad “rioters” of throwing a petrol bomb in a train carriage.

SOURCE: AFP | BBC

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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