Police monitor first Hong Kong protest since 2020
Under close surveillance by police, Hong Kong saw the first protest in over two years.
The small rally was the first since China imposed sweeping restrictions on the rights and freedoms of people living in the territory.
The event was limited to 100 participants. They were also required to wear number tags and their banners were checked in advance.
Sunday’s march was against a plan for land reclamation in the city’s eastern.
Police demanded that organizers adhere to strict conditions. They also surrounded marchers with a cordon, which kept media and protestors separated.
Participants were permitted to chant slogans in opposition to the project.
An anonymous attendee told AFP that the arrangements were “ridiculous”: “I am here to join a march, not a shame parade,” he said.
Another commented that the measures under which they were allowed to hold the march amounted to “intimidation”.
Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China. Under its “one country, two systems” principle, residents are supposed to enjoy certain freedoms unavailable on the mainland – and Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, guarantees the right to public assembly.
But these rights have been eroded since 2020 when Beijing imposed a national security law in response to the months-long Hong Kong protests against Beijing’s control in 2019.
Beijing said the law was needed to bring stability to the city – but critics said it was designed to squash dissent and weaken Hong Kong’s autonomy.