HONG KONG: At least 12 people were arrested by Hong Kong police in Mong Kok on Monday (Aug 31) as protesters gathered and chanted slogans near the Prince Edward MTR Station.
Among the 12 arrested was a 17-year-old boy who claimed to be a reporter, the police said in a Facebook post on Monday night.
Nine were arrested for unlawful assembly, while three were arrested for disorder in public places, assaulting a police officer, and possession of an imitation firearm.
"(The) police express the strongest condemnation against possession of such (firearms) as it poses a serious threat to (the) safety of the public," said the police.
"Police reiterate that we have zero tolerance towards any illegal acts and we will take enforcement action accordingly."
Protesters gathered at Nathan Road at about 6pm on Monday, with many chanting slogans.
"(This) may constitute the offence of 'participating in an unauthorised assembly' under the Public Order Ordinance and relevant offences under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation," said the Hong Kong government in a press release.
Police said they warned protesters to stop gathering and to leave the area, adding that they conducted stop-and-search operations to "prevent and stop crime".
"Police call upon members of the public to refrain from taking part in unauthorised assemblies and prohibited group gatherings, and to avoid close contact to reduce the risk of spreading the virus."