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Close tabs on HK’s first approved protest in years

Tan KW
Publish date: Mon, 27 Mar 2023, 10:01 AM
Tan KW
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HONG KONG: Hong Kong police permitted a small protest march under tight restrictions in one of the first demonstrations to be approved since the enactment of a sweeping national security law in 2020.

Several dozen demonstrators were required to wear numbered lanyards and were barred from wearing masks, as police monitored their march yesterday against a proposed land reclamation and rubbish processing project.

Participants chanted slogans against the reclamation project as they marched in the rain with banners in the eastern district of Tseung Kwan O, where the project is slated to be built.

Some also criticised the restrictions on their protest, which included a maximum of 100 participants, according to a seven-page letter from police to organisers.

Police granted the organisers a “no objection” letter for the protest on the condition that they ensured it would not violate national security laws, including seditious displays or speech.

“Some lawbreakers may mix into the public meeting and procession to disrupt public order or even engage in illegal violence,” the police warned in their letter.

Organisers said up to 50 people took part in the first protest to be authorised by the city’s police for several years. Applications for other protests have been denied on grounds related to Covid-19 social distancing.

 - Reuters

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