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Armed police repeatedly pepper-sprayed a pregnant woman and tackled her to the ground in Hong Kong.
The video was posted on Twitter by Joshua Wong, a leading pro-democracy activist, just a day after reports emerged of one protester being shot by police and another set on fire.
The video shows what appeared to be a tense standoff between police and a crowd of people, when one officer moves forward to spray a substance in the woman’s face.
The woman appeared to cover her face before the officer sprayed her a second time. In defiance, the woman then wiped the substance from her face and flicked it back at the officer.
It is a pregnant woman whom they pepper sprayed and forced to the ground!! Outrage!!! pic.twitter.com/tuRr3PDFug
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) November 12, 2019
At this point, a second officer moved in on the woman, sprayed a third time in her face, and grabbed her. Several officers then moved in on the woman and tackled her to the ground as she bellowed in agony.
The officers not involved in detaining the woman then pointed pepper spray toward the crowd apparently shouting words of warning.
In April, a since-withdrawn extradition bill was enacted by that many feared would give China further influence over the autonomous city of Hong Kong and potentially expose Hong Kong citizens to unfair trials and violent treatment.
In June, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in protest. Over the summer, violence between police and protesters escalated.
Although Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam eventually dropped the measure, protesters still feel that Hong Kong’s autonomy is in danger.
According to a BBC explainer article, “some protesters have adopted the motto: ‘Five demands, not one less!'” These demands are:
- For the protests not to be characterized as a “riot”
- Amnesty for arrested protesters
- An independent inquiry into alleged police brutality
- Implementation of complete universal suffrage
The fifth demand — which was the withdrawal of the extradition bill — has been met.