Hong Kong: Face mask ban prompts thousands to protest

Thousands have taken part in unplanned protests in Hong Kong after the territory’s government announced a face mask ban, which came into effect at midnight (16:00 GMT).

Chief executive Carrie Lam invoked a colonial-era emergency law in a bid to quell months of anti-government unrest.

The ban comes after an escalation of violence during protests on 1 October, when an officer shot a demonstrator.

Reports on Friday said a 14-year-old had been shot in the leg.

He is reportedly being treated at Tuen Mun hospital and is in a serious condition.

A police statement published by the South China Morning Post confirmed an officer “fired one shot as his life was under serious threat” after being attacked by a large group of protesters, including with petrol bombs. The statement does not however say if anyone was hit.

The demonstrations have now died down throughout most of the territory, although there are still pockets of unrest.

Protests erupted immediately after the ban was announced.

Many left work early to join the spontaneous demonstrations. Some furious protesters blocked roads, torched Chinese flags and vandalised stations and businesses, as police fired rounds of tear gas.

On Friday, the territory’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) announced a full service suspension of all trains, which will continue throughout Saturday.

A spokesman told the BBC this was due to vandalism and attacks on staff. Images showed fires lit at stations, and reports suggest a train was set ablaze.

Many Hong Kongers were forced to walk home amid the unrest.

Read More Here