Police arrest 45 people for unlawful assembly

     Regarding the protestors blocking the carriageway at the junction of Lung Wo Road and Tim Wa Avenue last night (October 14), the protestors ignored Police¡¦s repeated appeals and refused to leave the scene. About 2.45am today (October 15), Police took actions to disperse the protestors.

     About 9.45pm last night, the protestors gathering outside the Chief Executive¡¦s Office suddenly ran onto the carriageway at the junction of Lung Wo Road and Tim Wa Avenue, and thus causing severe traffic disruption in the vicinity. Such acts endangered the safety of the protestors themselves and the safety of other road users. Some protesters even behaved in a disorderly manner including throwing objects from height, throwing traffic cones, placing objects such as drainage covers on Lung Wo Road, snatching Police mills barriers and building road blocks, which further caused danger and obstruction. Police therefore classified the incident as ¡§Unlawful assembly¡¨.

     To ensure public safety and maintain public order, Police took actions at 2.45am today to disperse those assembling unlawfully and remove the barriers in the vicinity of Lung Wo Road so as to resume the traffic. During the operation, Police gave repeated advice and warnings, including displaying warning banners, but the protestors refused to comply and shoved police officers at scene. Police thus applied the minimum forces by using hands and shields to disperse them. Police also used OC Foam to stop those irresponsible acts which showed disregard for public safety and public order.

     During the operation, Police arrested 45 persons, including 37 men and 8 women, aged between 17 and 54, for unlawful assembly and obstructing police officer in due execution of duties. All arrestees are being detained for enquiries.

     Four police officers were injured during the operation. One of them was pushed to the ground by protestors and caused dislocation of his right shoulder. Another police officer was poked in his eye corner with a protester¡¦s umbrella. Two other police officers sustained abrasion to their bodies.

     Traffic on Lung Wo Road resumed normal at 5.45am.

     Police reiterate that we respect the public's freedoms of expression, speech and assembly and always handle public meetings, processions and demonstrations in a fair, just and impartial manner in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong.

     It is the policy of Police to facilitate all lawful and peaceful public events while at the same time ensuring public safety and public order. Members of the public should comply with the laws of Hong Kong and maintain social order when expressing their views.

Ends/Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:31