Following an escalation in the protests in Hong Kong, the government is planning a ban on disguise. Prime Minister Carrie Lam could endeavor for an old emergency law from the British colonial era. This tightening is highly controversial. This is reported by the "South China Morning Post" and the TV station TVB. The move could therefore be completed on Friday during a cabinet meeting.
In addition, according to a new service provision police have apparently received more room for maneuver. According to Reuters news agency, officials themselves decide how much force they use in difficult operations. So far, they have been made aware that they are held accountable for their behavior. This passage has been deleted. According to local media, the new service provision came into force on 30 September.
The protests that have been going on for five months have escalated on Tuesday for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. For the first time, a protester, an 18-year-old student, was shot. Around one hundred were injured. 269 people were arrested - more than ever before in one day.
Since the outbreak of the protests, around 2,000 people have been arrested. Early Thursday morning saw new demonstrations for street battles. The police union demands curfew.
Activation of an old emergency law
Opposition MP Ted Hui confirmed to the dpa News Agency that the head of government wanted to enforce a ban on face masks at public gatherings. In his opinion, a law will be submitted to the Legislative Council for approval.
Protesters in Hong Kong wear masks to protect themselves from tear gas. They also want to prevent the police to identify them - for example, with a software for face recognition. How the disguise prohibition is enforced in practice or what penalties are planned, is so far open.
Since the Beijing-friendly, not freely elected parliament for weeks is besieged again and the disguise ban should come into force very soon, but the government could also decide to activate the almost century-old emergency law. Such a move, however, would meet with massive resistance. Demonstrators already speak in this context of the "imposition of martial law".
The law "for emergencies and public danger" was issued by the British colonial rulers in 1922 and applied twice: to quell a strike by sailors who paralyzed the port in the same year, and in 1967 during riots and protests by pro-Communist forces against British colonial rule ,