Hong Kongers hold first protest in years under strict rules

Hong Kongers hold first protest in years under strict rules

Dozens of people on Sunday joined Hong Kong’s first authorized protest since the lifting of major COVID-19 restrictions under unprecedentedly strict rules, including wearing a numbered badge around their necks.

The rules set out by the police, who cited security reasons, came as the financial hub was promoting its return to normalcy after years of anti-virus controls and political turmoil.

During the pandemic, protests were rare due to COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, many activists have been silenced or jailed after Beijing imposed a national security law following massive protests in 2019. Critics say the city’s freedom of assembly that was promised Hong Kong when it returned to China from Britain in 1997 has been eroded.

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Sunday’s demonstration against the proposed reclamation and construction of rubbish-processing facilities was the first police-approved march of its kind after the city scrapped its mask mandate and social distancing limits.

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