09/17/2019, 09.23
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Hong Kong police: we will shoot live ammunition at those who throw Molotov cocktails

by Bernardo Cervellera

The Police Association considers the Molotovs life threatening. According to the demonstrators, Hong Kong is slipping into a police state. Every day there is a police press conference, while the governor is silent. Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi, together with Xi Jinping over Macau. Hong Kong crisis treated as a "national security" issue..

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The Association of Junior Hong Kong Police Officers said that from now on, law enforcement will be able to respond to anyone who throws Molotov cocktails at them with live ammunition. The Association, which gathers 80% of all police officers in the area, says that the launch of Molotov against policemen is to be considered a threat to their lives and therefore they can also respond with lethal weapons.

The statement, released yesterday afternoon, follows what happened after the September 15demonstration. During clashes between police and radical protesters, 10 demonstrators dressed in black launched at least three Molotov cocktails against policemen. One vehicle caught fire, but there was no personal injury. The policemen pulled out their weapons, but they didn't fire any shots.

According to the Hong Kong Human Rights Observatory, the declaration will only create "confusion" because instead of pushing the police to curb the use of force, it risks pushing for more violence.

For many young demonstrators, this move is further proof that Hong Kong is slipping into a police state, where the police have a free hand to restore security.

They recall the abuses committed: excessive use of force against peaceful protesters; launch of rubber bullets at eye level, capable of seriously injuring those hit; the wounding of a girl who risks losing an eye; "selective" arrests of youths dressed in black, leaving pro-China violent groups free; collusion with local and Chinese mafias, as occurred in the Yuan Long incidents; attack on protesters and passengers at Prince Edward station.

According to Prof. Bruce Lui Ping Kuen, of the Baptist University (photo 2), it is now clear that the Hong Kong police act exactly like those of the People's Republic, that is "not to enforce the law, but acting above the law". And this is because they now respond not to the Hong Kong government, but to China directly, already destroying the "one nation, two systems" principle and sliding Hong Kong under the principle "one nation, one system", that of Beijing.

Among the worrying signs in this direction, the observers cite the fact that at this point, the head of the executive, Carrie Lam, is no longer present in the media, but every day there is a police press conference that checks the incidents that occurred the previous day and justifies its work, always concluding with a self-acquittal (photo 3).

Prof. Lui notes that last September 11, President Xi Jinping met Macau’s newly elected governor, Ho Iat-seng, in Beijing. He points out that along with Xi there was also Zhao Kezhi, Minister of Public Security, who oversees the country's police force. For many observers, the fact that Zhao was present for the first time at a meeting about Macau, and that Xinhua emphasized his presence in official dispatches, means that the security problem in Macau and Hong Kong is now directly entrusted to the ministry in China. This means that Hong Kong's problems are now treated as China's "national security" problems.

Zhao Kezhi also seems to be shaping the whole media campaign against the Hong Kong demonstrations. Last August, visiting Guangdong, he accused "foreign forces" of stirring up unrest in Hong Kong and asked the police to remain on alert against "foreign infiltration that tends to subversion".

For observers, the Hong Kong police now seem to obey the Chinese Communist Party. Perhaps this is why it acts "above the law". Professor. Bruce Lui Ping Kuen remembers a Leninist maxim: "Who works for the Party is above the law": this is what happens in China and now also in Hong Kong.

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