Police detain protesters at busy Hong Kong mall during Dragon Boat Festival

Hong Kong police dispersed dozens of protesters who gathered at the Yuen Long shopping center on June 23, which marks the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival holiday, the Hong Kong Police Force said.
“On #DragonBoatFestival, dozens of protestors are staging a protest inside a shopping mall in #YuenLong, disrupting families and shoppers. Police dispersal and arrest operations are underway. Disperse peacefully. #HKProtest,” the police wrote on Twitter.
City-wide protests have been taking place sporadically in Hong Kong since June 2019, with protesters claiming to oppose China’s increasing influence on the special administrative region.
The latest wave of protests was caused by a security bill specially tailored by Beijing for Hong Kong.
“#HKPolice strongly condemn the groundless and malicious accusations by #appledaily claiming that some arrested persons had been sexually abused by officers. We welcome them to come forward and make a report to serve the justice right,” the police further said.
Under the newly-passed national security law, there are four categories of offences – secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security. The maximum penalty for each crime is life imprisonment.
According to the legislation, offenders can be sent to the mainland in cases that involve “complicated situations” of interference by foreign forces; cases in which the local government cannot effectively enforce the law; and cases where national security is under “serious and realistic threat”.
However, both Hong Kong’s leadership and the central government say the bill would not affect the legitimate rights of the residents. Beijing maintains that the unrest in Hong Kong is a result of international interference and vows to respect the “one country, two systems” principle.