Hong Kong riot police dispersed more than 100 pro-democracy protesters at the International Financial Centre (Central) in the evening (local time) on Tuesday, April 28. The protestors reportedly gathered to demand the release of individuals arrested over the course of the 2019 protests. Additionally, police issued at least two fines of HK$2000 for violating social distancing measures in place due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which prohibits the gathering of more than four people.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has extended the social distancing measures in place across the territory until Thursday, May 7.
This follows a similar protest on Sunday, April 26, where 300 pro-democracy protesters gathered at Cityplaza mall in Taikoo Shing (Quarry Bay). Riot police dispersed the protesters and issued verbal warnings.
Further demonstrations and public gatherings should be expected over the near term. A heightened security presence is to be expected in the vicinity of any protest.
Demonstrations have been held throughout Hong Kong since June 2019 to protest a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. While the bill was withdrawn on September 4, mass protests continue to be organized to demand government reforms and police accountability over violence since the start of the demonstrations. Pro-democracy candidates won 389 of the 452 seats in the territory's district council elections on November 24. The pro-democracy movement victory and the high turnout (71 percent) for the vote suggest that the public continues to support protests. Over 7000 people have been arrested since the protests began.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, report suspicious objects and behavior to police, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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