As the protests in Hong Kong continue to prevail six months on, 200 protestors now face “hell-like” conditions whilst stuck inside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Since last week protestors have been besieged inside the University, initially lighting fires and throwing petrol bombs to keep police forces at bay. Those who remain now face the threat of arrest waiting outside which entails a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. On Monday, 600 people surrendered themselves to police overnight and another group has been evacuated to seek medical attention. Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has said that she is “very worried” by the recent events and shocked that the campus has been turned into a “weapons factory”.
The socio-political turmoil within Hong Kong looks far from reaching its end.
People have been reported abseiling down a footbridge and climbing over walls, eventually escaping on nearby motorbikes placed by external volunteers. Others, eager and desperate to escape, have attempted to flee by crawling down manholes. Their efforts were quickly proven unsuccessful as firefighters intervened, warning them it was unsafe. Supplies are rapidly diminishing for those still stuck inside the campus’ boundaries, creating further tension and a sense of urgency amidst the confrontation. The Chinese ambassador to London said the government would “not sit on [their] hands and watch” with the “resources and power to end the unrest”.
The campus has been turned into a ‘weapons factory’
Violent clashes have also been seen to continue in the Central and Kowloon regions with riot police using tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse crowds of protestors. Furthermore, recent anti-mask laws enacted under emergency regulations have hindered protestors’ anonymity, leading to an increase in prosecution. The socio-political turmoil within Hong Kong looks far from reaching its end.
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