Hong Kong must protect freedom of assembly - U.N. rights office

GENEVA, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights office said on Friday that any new government measures in Hong Kong must be grounded in law and protect the right to freedom of assembly.

Hong Kong's embattled leader Carrie Lam invoked colonial-era emergency powers on Friday for the first time in more than 50 years, in a dramatic move intended to quell escalating violence in the Chinese-ruled city.

U.N. human rights spokeswoman Marta Hurtado, asked about the measures, including a ban on face masks, told a briefing in Geneva: "Any restriction must have a basis in law and be proportionate and as least intrusive as possible".

She added: "Freedom of peaceful assembly is a fundamental right and should be enjoyed without restriction to the greatest extent possible." (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alex Richardson)