Hong Kong / Beijing (dpa) - It's estimated that around 100 students were barricaded in a police-besieged university during the riots in Hong Kong.
Prime Minister Carrie Lam told the press that the security forces wanted to peacefully solve the "incidents" at the polytechnic college. Around 600 students had left the university campus in the Hung Hom district. Around 200 of them were under 18 years old. As many were arrested, Lam did not say.
Many of the younger demonstrators had been led overnight by a mediating group of middle school directors and celebrity campus personalities. The minors were able to go home after their personal details were taken by the police. Prime Minister Lam called on the remaining students at the university to surrender.
The violent protests in the Chinese Special Administrative Region had lasted into the night. The demonstrations have been going on for five months against the government, against the brutal behavior of the Hong Kong police and against the growing influence of the Chinese Communist leadership. Because of the riots on Tuesday also the schools and kindergartens remained closed.
The universities of the former British Crown Colony had developed into new focal points of the protests last week. As a result, the students were sent early for the semester break. At the Polytechnic University, the clashes on the weekend had escalated. The students defended themselves against the security forces with barricades, incendiary devices, self-made catapults or even bows and arrows.
The police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. Since Sunday, the forces have cordoned off the campus to arrest the students. Even so, a few hundred were able to escape via fences or ropes from buildings. There remained unused firebombs. Flammable and protective clothing bottles, as Hong Kong media reported.
Following the lifting of the ban on mummification by a Hong Kong court, a Chinese parliamentary speaker in Beijing has rejected the ruling as unjustified. Jian Tiewei of the People's Congress Judiciary Committee told Xinhua official news agency that only the Standing Committee of the Beijing Parliament could decide whether a decree was in accordance with Hong Kong's constitution.
He expressed his "deep concern" over the decision of the Hong Kong court yesterday that had dismissed the ban on disguise as excessive and not in accordance with Hong Kong's constitution. The verdict "severely weakened" the administrative power of Prime Minister Lam. In response to the decision, the government had suspended the implementation of the ban for the time being.
In recent weeks, many protesters have been arrested for wearing masks and tight-fitting goggles to protect themselves from police tear gas and pepper spray. Many also wanted to prevent them from being identified by security forces or their employers. They were threatened with imprisonment for up to a year or a fine of 25,000 Hong Kong dollars, the equivalent of 2900 euros.
Hong Kong's government had ordered the ban in early October in a recourse to nearly 100-year-old colonial emergency law. The judges made it clear that they did not fundamentally reject a disguise ban or considered it unconstitutional. The present ban, however, does not guarantee a reasonable balance between the protected rights of citizens and the social goals.
The 106-page judgment also sees the existing since 1922 emergency law from the British colonial era in contradiction to the Basic Law, because it empowers the head of government in the event of a public danger to far-reaching powers.
Since its return to China in 1997, the former British Crown Colony is governed autonomously under Chinese sovereignty under the principle of "one country, two systems". Unlike the people of the Communist People's Republic, the seven million Hong Kong people enjoy many rights, such as freedom of assembly and expression, which they now fear.