Hong Kong rejects democracy rally on China′s National Day | News | DW | 30.09.2019
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Hong Kong rejects democracy rally on China's National Day

A Hong Kong appeals board has upheld a ban on an anti-government demonstration planned for Tuesday's 70th anniversary of the founding of communist China.

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Hong Kong marks five years of Umbrella Movement

An appeals board on Monday upheld a police ban on a major pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong planned for China's National Day on Tuesday.

The Hong Kong board concluded the rally's organizers would be unable to protect attendees, given a high likelihood of violence in the city that has been rocked by weeks of protests.

'Police state'

The Civil Human Rights Front warned that denying a peaceful avenue for protesters could accelerate violence because protestors will turn up anyway on what has been dubbed by protesters as a "Day of Grief."

"Hong Kong is losing its freedom of speech and assembly. Hong Kong is becoming more and more like a police state, like a tyranny like Beijing," said Bonnie Leung, the Civil Human Rights Front coordinator who has organized several major rallies in recent months.

Clashes

A day earlier, police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon in multiple locations to disperse hardcore protesters hurling bricks and petrol bombs.

Hospital authorities said at least 40 people were injured on Sunday, one in a serious condition.

Municipal workers on Monday collected torn-up paving stones into piles and removed the melted remnants of burned barricades along a stretch of road where Sunday's clashes took place.

Read more: Thousands rally in Hong Kong to mark Umbrella Movement anniversary

Summer of discontent

Protesters are demanding more democratic freedoms, an independent inquiry into alleged police abuses, and for embattled leader Carrie Lam to step down.

But Hong Kong's government — with the force of Beijing behind it — has remained firm and refused to back down over the protests, despite the fact that the protest movement has mobilized millions of people.

The former British colony has enjoyed special rights since it was reabsorbed by China in 1997, under a "one country, two systems" principle. According to that formula, universal suffrage is set as the eventual goal, but many people view China as chipping away at the autonomy and freedoms that Hong Kong was promised.

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kw/rc (AP, AFP, dpa) 

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