Hundreds in Hong Kong defy social distancing measures for pro-democracy protest


Demonstrators gathered in a Hong Kong mall on Sunday chanting pro-democracy slogans, even as Hong Kong’s social distancing measures banned gatherings of more than four in public.

Police officers, including riot police with shields, entered the Cityplaza shopping mall in Tai Koo to disperse the crowds shortly after demonstrators gathered.

Hundreds of protestors gathered and sung the protest anthem Glory to Hong Kong. They shouted slogans reiterating their demands to the government and called for the Hong Kong police force to be disbanded.

The demonstration comes on the heels of the arrest of 15 former lawmakers and pro-democracy activists last week on charges of unlawful assembly stemming from huge rallies that were previously held against a controversial extradition bill that would allow detainees to be transferred to mainland China.

The extradition bill was later withdrawn in September 2019, although protests continued for several months. Protesters demanded voting rights and an independent inquiry into police conduct.

Hundreds of protestors gathered and sung the protest anthem Glory to Hong Kong. They shouted slogans reiterating their demands to the government and called for the Hong Kong police force to be disbanded. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Sunday’s demonstration is the city’s largest this year. Protests had quieted down in January after the COVID-19 outbreak in China led to a global pandemic.

Hong Kong reported no new cases on Sunday for the third time in the last seven days. The city has recorded a total of 1,038 infections and four deaths so far.

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