Hundreds of protesters and pro-democracy activists were arrested last night as they protested the stringent new bill. One of the arrests included a 15-year-old girl who was protesting the new restrictions and waving a flag.
Police officers were cladded with riot gear, shields and bearing guns as they pushed protesters back using water cannons, tear gas and pepper spray.
China released the details of the National Security Bill on Tuesday evening, weeks after the law was announced.
It happened on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer to China and it overturns assurances made to protect Hongkongers’ freedoms.
Pro-democracy demonstrators were initially outnumbered by riot police, who were stationed at each major intersection.
Thousands of protesters arrived later to support the pro-democracy protest, dodging the tear gas and pepper pellets fired int heir direction.
Police said ten protesters were detained particularly under the new security law.
The first was a man with a flag that read: “Hong Kong Independence”. A woman holding a sign with the Union Flag was also arrested.
Other demonstrators were arrested for “possessing items advocating independence”.
Around 370 people were detained on other charges, including unlawful assembly and bearing weapons.
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Those who are found to be committing more sever crimes will be labelled “terrorists”, taken to the mainland and receive a life sentence in prison. Some trials will take place behind closed doors.
A new police force has also been authorised to work in the territory with immunity to local legislation.
It will be China, not Hong Kong, the one to decide how the law is interpreted.
Ahead of the demonstration, pro-democracy activist Tsang Kin-shing, of the League of Social Democrats, cautioned there was a “large chance of our being arrested”.
He said: “The charges will not be light, please judge for yourself.”