Two protesters arrested during Sunday’s anti-government clashes, in which police for the first time deployed water cannon and fired a warning shot into the air, were charged in a Hong Kong court on Tuesday.
Student Chuk Ka-lok, 21, faced a charge of assaulting an officer, while social worker Lam Hiu-wa, 22, was charged with obstructing an officer during the protest in Tsuen Wan over the weekend. They were the latest to be charged at West Kowloon Magistrate’s Court over the incident.
Chuk was accused of pushing Constable Ken Chan King-cheung to the ground at the junction of Tsuen Wan Market Street and Chung On Street. At the same location, Lam allegedly refused to present identification documents to Inspector Leung Man-yi.
Only Chuk appeared at the court on Tuesday, as Lam was still in hospital after her arrest.
Prosecutors said Chuk could make a plea, but his lawyer asked for an adjournment to access police documents.
Principal Magistrate Peter Law Tak-chuen adjourned Chuk’s case until October 22. He granted him cash bail of HK$5,000 (US$637) and ordered him to remain in Hong Kong and obey a curfew.
He adjourned Lam’s case until Friday or an earlier date upon her discharge from hospital. She remained in police custody.
What started as a peaceful rally in Tsuen Wan on Sunday escalated into yet another confrontation between protesters and police, who fired tear gas and deployed two water cannon to disperse the demonstrators some of whom hurled petrol bombs.
A police officer also resorted to firing a warning shot into the air after he and his colleagues were pursued and attacked by a group of club-wielding protesters.
The demonstrators took to the street for the 12th consecutive week to voice their discontent against the now-abandoned extradition bill, which, if passed, would have allowed Hong Kong to send criminal suspects to mainland China, among other places, for trial.
The protesters were asking for, among other things, a complete withdrawal of the bill and an inquiry commission to look into the allegations of use of excessive force by police on them.
The violent clashes in Tsuen Wan came a day after police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the heart of Kowloon East, from Kwun Tong to Kowloon Bay.
On Tuesday, salesman Cheung Man-wai, 34, was brought to Kwun Tong Magistrate’s Court to face one count of rioting over Saturday’s incident.
He was accused of taking part in a riot near Wai Yip Street.
Acting Principal Magistrate Ivy Chui Yee-mei granted Cheung a cash bail of HK$5,000 and ordered him to observe a curfew and not to leave Hong Kong.
Cheung, who was the third to be charged over the Kwun Tong clashes, would return to court on November 6 as police needed extra time for investigation.