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Hong Kong legislature takes 2-week break amid vandalism cleanup

By Danielle Haynes
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Hong Kong legislature takes 2-week break amid vandalism cleanup
Workers start repairing the broken exterior of the government's parliament building in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

July 3 (UPI) -- Hong Kong officials said the Legislative Council will be closed for two weeks as police investigate and workers carry out repairs in the vandalized inner chambers Wednesday.

Legislative Council President Andrew Leung said Tuesday that all legislative meetings were put on hold.

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"Secretariat staff must first focus on resuming operations in LegCo, so it's not feasible for the council to hold meetings at other venues in the near future," he said. "Although some rooms in the LegCo building are not damaged, the security system, power supply and fire alarm systems are down."

He said "many things" were lost inside the chamber, though officials were still conducting inspections.

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On Monday, hundreds of protesters filled the streets near the Legislative Council building demanding the government rescind a controversial law that would allow for some fugitives from mainland justice to be sent to Beijing for trial.

The protesters demanded -- among a complete withdrawal of the bill, the release of arrested protesters and an investigation into alleged police brutality committed against protesters during an earlier demonstration -- that Chief Executive Chief Executive Carrie Lam resign.

They broke into the Legislative Council late Monday, smashing windows, spray-painting the walls and damaging items inside the chamber.

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Forensic scientists and officers from the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau and the Identification Bureau scoured the building Wednesday for evidence.

"Police will bring the culprits to justice," a statement from police said.

The vandalism coincided with a more peaceful protest Monday that coincided with the 1997 anniversary of the day Britain handed control of Hong Kong back to China. The New York Times reported the leaderless protesters -- while working toward the same goal -- appear to have different methods.

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Police said they arrested eight people on suspicion of collecting and dispensing the personal information of police officers online. Police spokesman Mohammed Swalikh said officers reported more than 800 instances of harassment since the alleged "doxxing."

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