In this image made from video, a police officer, left, prepares to shoot a protester, center, in Hong Kong Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. The police shot the protester as demonstrators blocked subway lines and roads during the Monday morning commute. (Cupid Producer via AP)
In this image made from video, a police officer, left, prepares to shoot a protester, center, in Hong Kong Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. The police shot the protester as demonstrators blocked subway lines and roads during the Monday morning commute. (Cupid Producer via AP)

Hong Kong strike devolves into violence after protester is shot

By By Viola Gaskell Time of article published Nov 11, 2019

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Hong Kong - A citywide strike devolved into chaotic scenes of

flaming barricades and tear gas in sedveral Hong Kong districts after

a male protester was shot in the torso by a police officer Monday

morning.

Hong Kong's hospital authority told dpa that a protester injured by a

gunshot wound was in critical condition Monday morning. 

Police later confirmed that an officer discharged his revolver and

shot one male, in a statement.

The incident marks the third time a protester has been shot with a

live round since protests broke out in June over a now-withdrawn

extradition bill.

A video circulating online showed what appeared to be a police

officer shooting a protester at close range in the chest that morning

in a video circulating online. The protester, who looks unarmed, then

slumps to the ground.

The shooting spurred online speculation that restrictions on officers

using firearms were relaxed in order to curb Monday's strike, but

police denied this in a statement.

"Online rumours stated that Police management have ordered frontline

officers to recklessly use their firearms in today's operations," the

statement read.

"Police clarifies that this allegation is totally false and

malicious. Police has strict guidelines and orders regarding the use

of firearms."

The strike was meant to call attention to the death of a student

protester, which many residents believe was indirectly caused by

police as they dispersed an illegal assembly last week. 

Protesters began building barricades on major thoroughfares and

vandalizing tunnel entry points around 7 am (2300 GMT on Sunday) in a

bid to prevent commuters from travelling to work.

In the Sai Wan Ho district, where the shooting occurred, angered

residents and protesters set up barricades, lit fires, and vandalized

a metro station. Police fired tear gas and pepper spray in response. 

Police also fired tear gas in Central, the heart of Hong Kong's

financial district, where many office workers without gear had

assembled on Monday to strike in solidarity with black-clad

anti-government protesters.  

Another video circulating online shows a man arguing with people with

anti-government views being set on fire by a protester. He is being

treated at a nearby hospital according to the South China Morning

Post. 

By midday, train lines and buses were crippled by the disruptions,

with suspensions on eight of the territory's 11 train lines,

according to the city's transport app. 

Police said in a statement that protesters threw petrol bombs into a

train carriage for the first time. The carriage appeared to be empty

in video footage of the incident. 

Classes were cancelled at multiple universities after tear gas was

deployed at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong

Polytechnic University, according to local media. 

Protesters also infiltrated malls as the strike is also meant to

coincide with Singles' Day, China's anti-Valentine's Day holiday

where single people are encouraged to buy themselves gifts.

The Hong Kong protests erupted in June over a now-suspended

extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be

extradited to China.

The demands of the movement later grew to include universal suffrage

and an independent inquiry into police violence against protesters.

dpa

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