A group of approximately 100 pro-democracy activists gathered at the International Finance Center (IFC) (Central district) in the afternoon (local time) on Friday, April 24. The demonstration was held despite the current measures in place banning public gatherings of more than four people due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Chief Executive Carrie Lam extended the social distancing measures in place across the territory until Thursday, May 7.
According to reports, the demonstrators wore face masks and kept a 1.5 m (4.9 ft) distance between each other. Reports suggest that the protest remained peaceful in nature, without security force intervention.
Further demonstrations and public gatherings should be expected in 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 While the bill was withdrawn on September 4, mass protests continue to be organized to demand government reforms and police accountability over violence since the start of the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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