HONG KONG/BEIJING: Beijing on Thursday (Jun 13) described the mass protests against Hong Kong’s extradition bill as “riots”, and said it supported the local government’s response. Hong Kong Police Commissioner Stephen Lo He said what began as a peaceful gathering on Wednesday had degenerated into a riot with protesters “acting violently in an organised manner”. Police arrested 11 people while 22 officers were injured and police had fired about 150 tear gas canisters, he said. Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to break up crowds Wednesday after demonstrators – angry over legislation they say would leave people vulnerable to China’s opaque justice system – blocked roads and brought the city to a standstill. Videos of Hong Kong police beating protesters have sparked accusations of brutality. READ: Police face mounting brutality claims after Hong Kong clashes As of 5pm on Thursday, there were 81 casualties related to the protests, the Hospital Authority said. These comprised 57 males and 24 females aged between 15 and 66 years old. “Five males and two females are still staying in hospital with stable condition,” it added. This is the worst political unrest since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997. The police have said that force was… Read full this story
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