TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — While households across the world celebrated Mother’s Day, the holiday in Hong Kong was marked by chaos as more than 100 people, including a pro-democracy legislator, were reportedly detained for anti-government protests and journalists attacked by law enforcement late Sunday (May 10) evening.
The pro-democracy protest movement in Hong Kong, which began last March as protests opposing the now removed extradition bill, slowly fizzled over time and because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, but it has not completely ended. On Sunday, demonstrators began rallying in a number of city center malls around noontime to voice their demands, which included political reforms and probes into police violence against protesters.
After some time in the malls, the crowds spilled out on to the streets of Mong Kok where they continued their protests with a handful of vandalism incidents and arson attacks in the evening.
A large number of riot police and plainclothes officers began clearing the area and making arrests after 9 p.m. with operations lasting through midnight, reports said. Several Hong Kong media outlets stated that more than 100 protesters were detained, including one 13-year-old student journalist and pro-democracy Legislator Roy Kwong (鄺俊宇), who had been tackled by a police officer and was still being treated at a hospital as of Monday (May 11) morning.
A number of journalists were also frisked, attacked with pepper spray, and temporarily blinded by strong beams of light by law enforcement, reports said. One Apple Daily reporter fell into a brief coma after a policeman locked his arm around her neck for at least 20 seconds, according to Apple Daily and other news outlets.
The police said via a statement Sunday evening that the protesters gathering in Mong Kok had shouted loudly, blocked roads, and even set fire on objects, thus posing a threat to public safety. After issuing several warnings in vain, the police began deterring and arresting protesters, the statement said.