Riot police dispersed a group of over 100 pro-democracy protesters gathered on Tuesday, May 12, at the Tsz Wan Shan Shopping Center in Tsz Wan Shan (Kowloon). Reports indicate that the activists gathered in the shopping center at approximately 19:00 (local time). According to social media outlets, a large number of riot police were deployed to the shopping center and began dispersing protesters at around 20:00. There have been no confirmed reports of arrests or casualties as of early Wednesday morning, May 13.
A ban on public gatherings remains in place amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which prohibits the gathering of more than eight people in public. Further demonstrations should be expected in the near term. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are 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 While the bill was withdrawn on September 4, mass protests continue to be organized to demand government reforms and police accountability over violence since the start of the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) of the vote suggest that the public continues to support protests. Over 8000 people have been arrested since the protests began.
After a break in protests due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, demonstrations have increased in frequency since the relaxation of COVID-19 measures in late April. However, as of May 11, public gatherings of more than eight people remain forbidden due to the virus, which may inhibit protest activity.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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