New security law sparks protests in Hong Kong

 edition.cnn.com  07/02/2020 11:52:00  2
A woman reacts to pepper spray as police were clearing protesters in Hong Kong on Wednesday, July 1.

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Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT) July 2, 2020

A woman reacts to pepper spray as police were clearing protesters in Hong Kong on Wednesday, July 1.

Dale De La Rey/AFP/Getty Images

For a second summer in a row, political unrest has returned to the streets of Hong Kong.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested in the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay on Wednesday, July 1, after China's central government imposed a national security law over the semi-autonomous city. Protesters and police also clashed in May and June after the security law was first proposed.

The new law dramatically broadens the powers of local and mainland authorities to investigate, prosecute and punish dissenters.

Critics say the law has stripped Hong Kong of its autonomy and precious civil and social freedoms. The Chinese and local governments argue it's necessary to curb unrest and uphold mainland sovereignty.

Last summer, anti-government protests were sparked by strong opposition to a proposed extradition law. Critics feared the bill would allow citizens to be sent across the border into mainland China. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam withdrew the bill in September but refused to give ground on four other demands, which include greater democracy for the city and an independent commission into police conduct.

Protesters chant slogans during a rally on July 1. The gesture demands the government to meet their "five demands, not one less."

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A protester is detained by police after being pepper sprayed during a protest at Causeway Bay before the annual handover march in Hong Kong, Wednesday, July 1.

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A police officer raises his pepper spray gun as he detains a man during a march on July 1.

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam makes a toast with former chief executives Tung Chee-hwa, center, and Leung Chun-ying following a flag-raising ceremony on July 1. July 1 is the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from British rule to China.

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Police officers charge up shopping-mall escalators during demonstrations on July 1.

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People wave flags and shout slogans inside a Hong Kong shopping mall on June 15.

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Pro-democracy activists leave flowers outside a shopping mall where a man fell to his death last year after hanging a protest banner.

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A pro-democracy protester shouts at police during a rally on June 12.

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Activists defy a police ban to participate in a rally in Victoria Park on June 4. The rally, which has been held every year since the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in China, had been banned over coronavirus fears. Many viewed the ban as political in a city where infections were down to a handful per month.

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A man holds up the iconic Tiananmen Square "Tank Man" photo during the Victoria Park rally.

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From left, Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Agnes Chow  members of the pro-democracy political group Demosisto  hold a news conference on May 30. A month later, Demosisto and several other political and activist groups formally disbanded, fearing they could be targeted under the new law.

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A man at a diner watches Chinese President Xi Jinping on May 28 as Chinese lawmakers approved a proposal for the new security law.

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Xi votes on the proposal to draft a security law.

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Pro-democracy protesters scuffle with police on May 27.

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A young man uses the "five demands, not one less" gesture during a protest on May 27.

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Police try to deter pro-democracy protesters from blocking roads in the Mong Kok district on May 27.

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A pro-democracy protester is detained by police on May 24.

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Tear gas is seen in the background as police try to disperse protesters on May 24.

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A police officer fires on protesters in Causeway Bay on May 24.

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A woman reacts to tear gas on May 24.

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Pro-China lawmakers attend a news conference in Hong Kong on May 22.

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Pro-democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-dick is removed by security during a scuffle with pro-Beijing lawmakers at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on May 22.

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Delegates applaud as Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for the opening session of China's National People's Congress on May 22.

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Pro-democracy and pro-Beijing lawmakers scuffle at the House Committee's election of chairpersons on May 18.

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Lam Cheuk-ting, a pro-democracy lawmaker, tosses papers into the air in protest on May 18.

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