At least 14 people were arrested in a Hong Kong mall during a “shopping protest” against Chinas impending national security law tailor-made for the city, it was reported.
Nine males and five females aged 14 to 55, were arrested on Thursday evening for illegal assembly, police said, after protesters marched around the Yoho Mall shopping centre in Yuen Long chanting slogans, which caused customers to flee and stores to close on what was a public holiday, reports the South China Morning Post.
Trouble flared again later in the night after two protesters who were waving a colonial flag and chanting slogans in the mall’s atrium were taken away by plain-clothes officers, sparking the anger of a small group of demonstrators nearby.
The officers then fired pepper spray to keep the group at bay.
Riot police quickly arrived to provide back up and also used pepper spray.
Beijing is drafting legislation for Hong Kong, which will ban secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign and external influences to threaten national security.
The controversial law, of which only a broad outline has been revealed, could be passed as early as June 30.