Police force of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said on Tuesday that 45 people were charged with rioting, assaulting police officer and possession of offensive weapons respectively after a recent illegal assembly.
The illegal assembly was held in the Western District on Hong Kong Island on Sunday, during which the protesters set up roadblocks by umbrellas, wooden planks, bamboo sticks and railings, pried up pavement bricks, demolished roadside fences and damaged street signs and lampposts, according to the police. They also attacked police officers at scene with lethal weapons such as bricks and sharpened iron rods.
Although the police repeatedly asked the protesters who charged the police cordon lines to leave the illegal assembly immediately, the protesters continued to perform various peace-breaching acts and attacked police officers.
After repeated warnings were ignored, the police took dispersal action at around 7 p.m. on Sunday to restore social order, during which the police arrested 49 people including 32 men and 17 women, aged between 16 and 41.
After investigation and seeking legal advice, the police charged 44 people for rioting. Among them, a 33-year-old man was also charged with assaulting police officer. Separately, a 24-year-old man was charged with possession of offensive weapons. All of them will appear in court on Wednesday.
The remaining two men were released on bail pending further investigation, while another two people were temporarily released.
The police stressed that an investigation was underway and did not rule out the possibility of further arrest.