Government issues statement to severely condemn violent acts of masked rioters

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6th October 2019 – (Hong Kong) Members of the public participated in unauthorised assemblies and processions in various districts on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon today where a large number of masked rioters took the opportunities to block roads and vandalise public property, MTR stations as well as banks and shops selected by the rioters in various areas. They also set fires, hurled petrol bombs at police and wantonly attacked other members of the public. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government severely condemns these violent acts which totally disregard law and order.

A spokesman said that the violent acts in recent days have thrown the community into panic and chaos, affecting many public services and prompting malls and shops to suspend businesses for fear of vandalism. Many members of the public did not dare to go out because of personal safety concerns. In fact, rioters attacked a number of people in recent days and seriously injured a victim with suspected lethal weapons today. A reporter was also hit by rioters’ petrol bombs and got burnt.

 Rioters extensively trashed MTR facilities in the past days, causing the MTR to suspend the operation of the entire network at one point and bringing immense inconvenience to people’s daily living. The HKSAR Government thanks MTR staff members for their hard work in repairing various facilities to their best of ability in the face of danger, enabling the resumption of railway service to a limited extent earlier today.

The continuous extreme violent acts of the masked rioters have seriously breached public peace, posing extensive and imminent danger to society, which are testimonies to the need to invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to put in place the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation by the HKSAR Government. An application to the court for an interim injunction against the regulation by the non-pro-establishment lawmakers today was once again rejected by the High Court.

The spokesman said that the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation has come into effect. It is an offence to use facial covering that is likely to prevent identification in “unlawful assembly”, “unauthorised assembly”, and public meetings and public processions that have to notify the Commissioner of Police and do not receive any prohibition or objection. The Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation is to prevent further violence and riotous acts, so that Hong Kong can restore peace and stability. The HKSAR Government urges the public not to involve in any potential law violation.