'Don't test our bottom line' say Hong Kong police to protesters

'Don't test our bottom line' say Hong Kong police to protesters

Riot police (R) make arrests as protesters attempt to leave PolyU
Riot police make arrests as protesters attempt to leave the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus, Nov 18, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Ye Aung Thu)

HONG KONG: Hong Kong police on Monday (Nov 18) urged protesters not to "test their bottom line", at a news conference held in response to the violent clashes at Polytechnic University's campus over the weekend.

The overnight confrontation saw police firing volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets to force back dozens of protesters who tried to escape the besieged campus.

READ: Hong Kong protests: Security tight at PolyU with hundreds of protesters trapped on campus

READ: Dozens of Hong Kong protesters escape campus siege on motorbikes

"I would urge those rioters, do not try to escalate the level of weapons or violence. We have the capabilities. I will once again urge them to come out, surrender," said regional commander of Kowloon West, Cheuk Hau-Yip.

"As if they always claimed they want to fight for a better future, then please come out and face the consequences of your actions and uphold the rule of law of Hong Kong."

Police said a media liaison officer was treated in hospital after being hit by an arrow in the leg.

READ: Arrow fired by Hong Kong protester hits police officer: Authorities

"I have one fellow officer shot by arrow already. This is a very long-range weapon used by the rioters. If we have to respond, I believe the only option is to use deadly weapons," Cheuk said.

Wok Ka-Chuen, Chief Superintendent of the Police Public Relations Branch, added: "Without a doubt, this is a murderous act. There are many reporters in the same area. The arrow could have killed our officer or anyone in the surroundings. 

"We express our strongest condemnation against this indiscriminate violence."

Tear gas is fired by police as protesters attempt to escape
Tear gas is fired by police as protesters attempt to escape the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus, Nov 18, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace)

He said a total of 154 people - 103 men and 51 women aged between 13 and 54 - have been arrested over the weekend. Their offences include unlawful assembly, taking part in a riot, possession of weapons and burglary.

The protests, which have been going on for over five months now, have posed the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

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Source: Reuters/ga

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