Hong Kong Protests Continue Despite Countless Arrests

Peyton Gouzien | @PGouzien

In response to recent protests in Hong Kong, Police have arrested several protesters. This comes after both the local government and the government in Beijing condemned the young protesters who stormed the legislature. Despite countless arrests, protests continue. Officials in the local government worry that the arrests could cause the protests to grow more violent.

Protesters have also been turning to foreign officials for support, specifically from the G20 summit. UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke on the protests, expressing that the country is “keeping options open” over China. Hunt threatened “action” if China continues to threaten the region’s freedoms.

Origin of the Hong Kong Protests

Protests in Hong Kong began in early June over a bill the Chinese government passed. It would allow the extradition of citizens of Hong Kong to China and any country that it doesn’t have a pre-existing agreement with. The pretense of the bill was over fugitives who would hide in Hong Kong; no formal extradition agreement previously existed. The bill was introduced after a Hong Kong national admitted to killing his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan before returning to Hong Kong.

Citizens of Hong Kong took to the streets to protest the law by the thousands after its passage. Protests have raged ever since then, as they get larger and more violent. More protesters continue to be arrested which has fueled some of the violence. Moreover, China and Hong Kong’s governments have begun to crack down after a group of younger protesters stormed the capitol. The Chinese military has also sent warnings out to protesters, with a military exercise meant to show the army’s strength amidst protests.

Hong Kong Feels the Effects

While protesters continue on, many there are seeing negative effects as a result of the protests. Specialists in the city warn of a potential mental health crisis. Suicide Prevention Groups further report seeing an increase of calls after three deaths occurred related to the protests. In addition, the group has reported two suicide attempts that are a direct result of them. One local expert told the South China Morning Post that they “have never seen Hongkongers so unsettled and troubled” in their time there.

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