Hong Kong, Jul 1: The Hong Kong police on Monday used batons and pepper spray to disperse protesters rallying against amendments to the extradition law, who took to the streets on Monday, in the 22nd anniversary of the transfer of Hong Kong to China from the United Kingdom, local media reported.
The international financial hub has been shaken by demonstrations in the past three weeks, when protesters have demanded the withdrawal of a bill that would allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland.
At about 0720 hrs local time (23:20 p.m. on Sunday GMT) police officers wearing helmets and carrying shields tried to remove barricades that were set by protesters to block a street leading to a square in Wan Chai district.
Shortly before a flag-raising ceremony in Wan Chai to mark the handover, police swooped on protesters, who had blockaded one street. At least one woman was seen bleeding from a head wound after the clashes and police made multiple arrests.
Mass rallies erupted in Hong Kong in early June, as the authorities were considering to adopt a bill designed to allow Hong Kong to extradite suspects to jurisdictions, with which the city does not have an extradition agreement, including mainland China.
As a result of the protests, the city authorities have indefinitely suspended the bill, while Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has made a public apology. The protesters, however, demand complete withdrawal of the extradition amendments.
Hong Kong was handed over to China by the United Kingdom on Jul 1, 1997. (UNI)