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HK police group for using live ammunition on protesters

September 16, 2019 04:12 PM

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's largest police association on Monday advocated the use of live ammunition in dealing with protests that have rocked the city for more than three months.

The Junior Police Officers' Association considered that bricks and molotov cocktails allegedly thrown by some protesters during clashes with the police could be lethal, therefore justifying a tougher response than teargas, rubber bullets or bean bag rounds, state broadcaster RTHK reported.

Clashes once again took place on Sunday in the special administrative region after the police banned a demonstration called by the Civil Human Rights Front. Officers responded to demonstrators throwing bricks, stones and molotov cocktails with water cannon and teargas, according to Efe news.

If officers face threats to their life they should use reasonable and appropriate force to protect themselves and others, and therefore live ammunition should be considered, the police association said.

Mass demonstrations began in early June in opposition to a contentious extradition bill would have allowed Beijing to nab "fugitives" seeking refuge in Hong Kong and try them in the mainland, under a system without safeguards.

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill on September 4, but it has failed to mollify discontented citizens who insist the authorities respond to all five demands, which include introducing universal suffrage and setting up an independent body as an inquiry into alleged police brutality.

Under the "one country, two systems" principle, China promised to maintain Hong Kong's democratic structures for 50 years after recovering sovereignty over the island from the UK in 1997.

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