1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Hong Kong police end university siege

November 29, 2019

The standoff at Hong Kong Polytechnic University was one of the most violent episodes in six months of protests. But the end of the siege saw activists vow to hold protests and strikes in the coming days.

Riot police walk across a street next to the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/V. Thian

Hong Kong police on Friday lifted a cordon around a university campus that became a battleground for anti-government protesters holed up inside during a 13-day siege.

Police left Hong Kong Polytechnic University after they entered the campus a day earlier to collect evidence and remove dangerous items.

Read moreChina furious after Trump signs Hong Kong bills into law 

Police spray mosque blue

In a statement, police said that over two days they had seized 3,989 gasoline bombs, 1,339 explosive items, 601 bottles of corrosive liquids and 573 weapons. No protesters were left inside the campus.

Roughly 1,000 protesters had retreated inside the campus after battling police on nearby streets on November 17, leading to a violent standoff that left the university ransacked.

Police said 700 people were arrested and the details of 300 minors were recorded. Some protesters were able to escape. 

The university now faces the daunting task of cleaning up the campus.

In a letter to students on Friday, university officials called on people to stay away.

"The campus is still unsafe, and will continue (to) be closed," officials said.

Hong Kong: concern over tear gas

More protests planned 

The end of one of the most violent chapters in nearly six months of protests against China and the Hong Kong government came as activists vowed to hold fresh rallies and strikes in the coming days.

The turmoil was triggered in June by a now-shelved bill that would have allowed extraditions to China, stoking concerns that Beijing is encroaching on freedoms in Hong Kong that are not enjoyed on the mainland.

Read moreHong Kong: What's the significance of the local election results?

The protests have since broadened into a movement calling for democratic reforms and police accountability.

The pro-democracy movement gained a boost last weekend when their parties swept local elections, sending a stinging rebuke to Beijing and city leader Carrie Lam.

cw/rt (AFP, AP)

Every evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.