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Amnesty accuses Hong Kong police of provocation | TIME ONLINE

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Amnesty International has the police in Hong Kong accused of disproportionately tough action against demonstrators. From the beginning of the protests, the riot police were there with a large contingent and provocatively reprimanded the demonstrators, said regional director of the human rights organization, Man-kei Tam.

Around 1.3 million people took to the streets in the Chinese special administrative zone against government policies at the beginning of the year. Incidents occurred again during the protests. After only three hours, the police asked the organizers to break up the march. Activists had previously attacked a bank branch. The police used tear gas and pepper spray against demonstrators. According to police, around 400 people were arrested for illegally gathering and carrying weapons.

Human rights activist Tam said he was there when the police ended the protests. "The police have acted cautiously over the past week and that has not helped to de-escalate the problems," he said. A provocation of the demonstrators is certainly not in the interests of Prime Minister Carrie Lam, Tam added.

Lam had been criticized internationally for her handling of the protests. She had refused to open an independent investigation into reports of police violence against the demonstrators.

Since its return to China in 1997, the former British crown colony has been governed autonomously under China's sovereignty. For six months now, the Hong Kongers have been demonstrating against the government, Beijing's growing influence and disproportionately tough police actions. They demand democracy and more self-determination.

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