Hong Kong: Rule of law nearing 'collapse'

Hong Kong faces more protests after clashes at university

Tags: Hong Kong
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Anti-government protesters face off against riot police in Hong Kong
Anti-government protesters face off against riot police in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is facing another day of anti-government action after a night of pitched battles at a top university.

At the Chinese University of Hong Kong police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as protesters started fires and threw petrol bombs.

Considerable student anger over police moving their operation onto campuses was matched by police warning that the rule of law was close to "collapse". Protests continued on Wednesday with clashes in different parts of the city.

The police decision to enter campuses signals a shift in strategy, as they have largely avoided clearance operations at schools and universities. The Education Bureau has announced all schools would suspend lessons on Thursday for safety reasons.

A session at the city's parliament, known as the Legislative Council, was briefly suspended after opposition politicians angrily questioned the security chief over alleged police brutality.

This week has seen a marked escalation in violence with intense street battles, violent clashes at universities and lunchtime protests in the financial heart of Hong Kong. It is the first time in weeks that protests are taking place during weekdays. The protests on Monday came after a weekend of vigils and demonstrations after a 22-year-old student protester died on Friday. Alex Chow had been in hospital since he fell from the ledge of a car park during a police operation a week ago.

Later on Monday, violence escalated further when a police officer shot an activist in the torso with a live bullet and a pro-government supporter was set on fire by protesters on Monday.

Hong Kong is part of China but as a former British colony it has some autonomy and people have more rights.

The protests started in June against plans to allow extradition to the mainland - which many feared would erode the city's freedoms. The bill was withdrawn in September but demonstrations continued and now call for full democracy and an inquiry into police behavior. Clashes between police and activists have become increasingly violent and in October the city banned all face masks.