Local TV Stations Show Police Using Pepper Spray on Demonstrators
WSJ Nov. 5, 2014
HONG KONG—Hong Kong police have arrested three men following clashes early Thursday in Mong Kok, a pro-democracy protest zone in the Kowloon part of the city.
Local television stations showed police using pepper spray on dozens of protesters in the working-class neighborhood. The confrontation was allegedly caused by a man using a camera flash to provoke a police officer, the news channels said.
A Hong Kong police spokesperson confirmed that three men—aged between 24 and 50—were arrested. One was arrested for suspicion of criminal damage, while the other two were arrested for obstructing police officers executing their duty. One was also taken to the hospital with a head injury, the police said in a statement. No other information on the men was immediately available and it wasn’t clear if anyone else was injured in the clashes.
The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are in their sixth week, but there is little sign of resolution. Sunday, protesters are planning to march west from the business district on Hong Kong Island to the Chinese government’s Liaison Office. They say they will call for talks with China’s government. The march has been organized by the Civil Human Rights Front, an umbrella group affiliated with most of the pro-democracy camps in the city.
Members of the Hong Kong Federation of Students have threatened to bring their protest to Beijing during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, as a way to gain publicity for their demand that China allow free elections in Hong Kong.
The APEC meetings started Wednesday. A two-day leaders’ summit hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping begins Monday, and U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to attend.