22 arrested in protests against Beijing's refusal of universal suffrage

22 arrested in protests against Beijing's refusal of universal suffrage

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Members of the Scholarism protesting outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel where Li is staying.
Members of the Scholarism protesting outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel where Li is staying.
Photo: David Wong/SCMP

Hong Kong police have arrested at least 22 people during a series of protests targeting a senior mainland official visiting the city, authorities said today.

The pro-democracy activists had vowed to take over the streets of the city’s financial district following Beijing’s refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage.

Li Fei, a senior member of the NPC, has been dogged by angry demonstrations throughout his visit to the SAR – including lawmakers heckling him during a speech yesterday. Li is in town to explain Beijing’s controversial proposal to control who stands for the top post in the city’s next leadership election. The decision, made public on Sunday, has prompted pro-democracy activists to embark on what they describe as a new “era of civil disobedience”.

Protesters have kept a vigil outside Li’s hotel with renewed scuffles breaking out late last night.

“During the protest, the participants forcibly pushed the mills barriers, charged the police cordon line and dashed onto the carriageway,” police said in a statement yesterday.

Officers made 19 arrests outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Wan Chai late on Monday. Eighteen of the protestors were arrested for “unlawful assembly”, police said. The other activist was arrested for obstructing a police officer.

Earlier yesterday, police used pepper spray on demonstrators at a convention centre on the outskirts of the city where Li gave a speech that was punctuated by regular interruptions by protesters and pro-democracy lawmakers.

Three of those people were arrested for disorder in a public place, police said.

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