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Hong Kong anti-government protesters face the police to denounce the use of real fire

October 3, 2019

Anti-government protesters in Causeway Bay in solidarity with the student who was shot by a member of the Hong Kong security forces – REUTERS / SUSANA VERA

HONG KONG, Oct. 3 (Reuters / EP) –

The anti-government protesters have confronted the police early this Thursday to denounce the use of real fire by agents during the protests, in which two people were seriously injured, one of them by a shot by a member of the security forces.

Activists have gone out to the districts of the city ruled by China until late at night, throwing Molotov cocktails, blocking roads and destroying some shops and subway stations while the police used tear gas to disperse them.

“Wherever there are protests nearby, I will go. I'm out tonight for a simple reason. You don't shoot a teenager at close range,” said Alex Chan, an interior designer, at a protest in the Causeway Bay shopping district. “These protests will continue and we will not give up,” he said.

Police have urged the government to impose a curfew to help curb the increase in violence in Hong Kong, where agents have become the target of protesters amid accusations of excessive force.

“When we face a series of mass disturbance incidents, we cannot work alone, without appropriate measures and support from the higher level,” said the president of the Association of Junior Police Agents, Lam Chi Wai, who has urged to impose a curfew, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

Thousands of people took to the streets on Wednesday to report the shot against an 18-year-old student, who police said was an act of self-defense because the agent's life was threatened.

The student was shot while confronting the agent with a metal tube during the violent protests on Tuesday, when protesters threw Molotov cocktails at the Police, which responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons.

The MTR subway system has closed stations in several districts, including Po Lam, Hang Hay and Tseung Kwan O, just before midnight on Wednesday, after the violence intensified again.

Police said Thursday that the protesters' acts “seriously undermined public order and posed a threat to the personal safety of police officers and members of the public.”

INTERNATIONAL CRITICISMS

Police actions during these last months of protests have received criticism from human rights organizations, against the criteria of local authorities and Beijing, who claim that the agents have limited themselves to responding in a contained manner to the challenges raised by protesters.

The British Foreign Minister, Dominic Raab, has been blunt in his assessment of the latest events and noted in a statement that, “although there is no excuse for violence, the use of real ammunition is disproportionate and only serves to inflame the situation “.

This “incident,” he added, “underlines the need for a constructive dialogue to resolve the legitimate concerns of the people of Hong Kong.” “We need there to be containment and a reduction of tensions both by the protesters and the Hong Kong authorities,” he said.

The head of Amnesty International in Hong Kong, Man Kei Tam, has considered the shooting of a protester “alarming”, so he has demanded from the authorities a “quick and effective” investigation into what happened. In this regard, he recalled that “the police should only use lethal force in response to an imminent threat” and “only as a last resort.”