- Hong Kong police are touting their ability to spray protesters with dye in order to track participants.
- Police said in a video released on Sunday that they had completed testing and training on a portable spraying device, which could mist a dye, known as “liquid colour,” onto protesters during demonstrations.
- According to police, the liquid colour – which they said was “edible” – could also be added to other substances, like tear gas, in order to maximise impact.
- This weekend was marked by several large-scale protests, several of which turned violent, as thousands of people continue to flock to the streets of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
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Hong Kong police are touting their ability to spray protesters with dye in order to track participants.
Hong Kong Police Force Superintendent Louis Lau Siu-Pong said in a video posted to Facebook on Sunday that police are looking to introduce a portable spraying device which would mist a dye, referred to in the video as “liquid colour,” onto protesters during demonstrations. Police say the colour is “edible and harmless to humans.”
According to police, the liquid colour could also be added to other substances, like tear gas, in order to maximise impact. Once sprayed, the dye will stain skin and clothing, making it easier to identify protesters who frequently conceal their identities using masks, goggles, and other methods.
During the weeks of protests, police have deployed different dispersion methods such as rubber bullets, tear gas, and water hoses. Still, protests have endured for over two months and show no signs of slowing.
Police clashes with protesters have escalated in recent days. This weekend was marked by several large-scale protests, several of which turned violent, as thousands of people continue to flock to the streets of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
What initially started as a protest of against a proposed bill that would allow for the extradition of Hong Kong residents to mainland China for trial has ballooned into a fight to uphold democracy in region.
Peaceful demonstrations began on Friday in Tai Kok Tsui in the western Kowloon district, police said, though an offshoot group of protesters began heading south towards Tsim Sha Tsui and protested outside the police station. Protesters also blocked roads including the entrance to the Cross Harbour Tunnel which connects to Hong Kong Island.
Police used tear gas and other dispersal methods to remove protesters. Police say some “violent protesters” hurled petrol bombs, bricks, and glass bottles at police officers during the clashes.
Large-scale demonstrations also took place across the city on Saturday and Sunday, leading to further violent clashes between police.
On Sunday, police say protesters “criminally damaged” the police station in Tseung Kwan O in the city’s east. Police say several other stations were also damaged in separate clashes.
At least 44 people were arrested on Sunday, and 44 others have been charged with rioting since protests began, according to The Guardian, a criminal offence that carries up to 10 years in prison.
On Monday, a massive city-wide strike organised by the pro-democracy movement brought Hong Kong to a standstill, with businesses shuttered, roads empty, and over 100 flights cancelled at the city’s airport.
Protesters prevented commuters from travelling during rush hour by blocking train doors and platforms, leading the city’s train service to be suspended due to the disruption, the South China Morning Post reported.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam held a press conference on Monday evening where she remained resolute in the face of calls for her to step down.
“I don’t think at this point in time, resignation of myself or some of my colleagues would provide a better solution,” she told media.
She added that Hong Kong was “the verge of a very dangerous situation” and said protesters had “ulterior motives” that threatened the city’s security.
On Tuesday, several Democratic lawmakers called on protesters to restore calm and avoid falling into the “government trap.“
“The protesters’ attempts to besiege police stations or confront officers will definitely weaken the movement and even fall into the government’s trap,” NeoDemocrat lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai told media.
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