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Hong Kong police arrest 12 for July 1 protest

By Darryl Coote
Hong Kong police arrest 12 for July 1 protest
Hong Kong Police Forse said officers have been collecting evidence from the crime scenes including fingerprints and DNA. Photo courtesy Hong Kong Police Force/Facebook

July 4 (UPI) -- Hong Kong police arrested 12 people in connection to Monday's protest when the Legislative Council was broken into and vandalized, authorities said.

The 11 men and one woman were charged with unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons, assaulting a police officer, obstructing a police officer, failing to carry identification documents and violating the Air Navigation Order 1995, police said Wednesday.

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Pro-democracy protesters on Monday held a demonstration during the flag-raising ceremony marking 22 years since the former British colony was returned to Beijing rule. The demonstration quickly turned violent, with protesters charging riot police blockades and police using pepper spray and batons to fight them off.

Protesters then turned their attention to the Legislative Council, breaking through its glass doors and then spray painting pro-democracy graffiti on the walls as well as committing other vandalism.

RELATED Hong Kong legislature takes 2-week break amid vandalism cleanup

The arrests come after police vowed to hold those accountable and Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the government would "pursue the lawbreaking behavior to the end."

Earlier Wednesday, the Hong Kong Police Force said officers with the Organized Crime and Triad Bureau, Police Tactical Unit and Identification Bureau were collecting on-site evidence from the LegCo complex.

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"A large amount of bricks, steel bars, and damaged road signs were seized in the demonstration zone outside the complex," the Hong Kong police said on Facebook. "Police will follow up and bring the culprits to justice for any unlawful acts."

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On Tuesday, it said officers were collecting fingerprints and DNA from the scene.

Hong Kong has been rocked by protests since early June over a controversial bill that would see some fugitives from Beijing law sent back to the mainland to face courts there.

Despite the law having been indefinitely shelved, protests persist having evolved into a larger pro-democracy movement.

RELATED China urges punishment of Hong Kong protesters for building breach

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