Dramatic photos from Hong Kong show police cracking down and arresting at least 370 protesters after China imposed its sweeping new national security law

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuRiot police officers walk as anti-national security law protesters march during the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong on July 1, 2020.
  • China passed a new national security law on Tuesday, giving Beijing sweeping authority to crack down on alleged political crimes and suppress voices of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.
  • In the first protest to take place after the vote, police in riot gear used tear gas and pepper spray to arrest more than 300 people.
  • At least 10 protesters were arrested for waving flags and other materials that support the independence movement,CNN reported.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Hong Kong police in riot gear arrested at least 370 protesters on Wednesday after China passed a sweeping new national security act to crack down on political crimes and suppress voices of the pro-democracy movement.

The new law was passed on Tuesday behind closed doors, and seeks to impose penalties on acts of secession, subversion from Chinese law, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces.

Critics fear it effectively puts an end to Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous “one country, two systems,” structure and allows China to punish dissent as it sees fit.

On July 1, when swarms of demonstrators showed up at a busy shopping district to protest the new law, police met them in riot gear and arrested more than 300 people.

At least 10 were arrested for waving flags or carrying materials to support the Hong Kong independence movement, which directly violates the new law, CNN reported.

These photos show the dramatic, chaotic scenes in Hong Kong this week.


On July 1, hundreds of Hong Kongers took to the streets to protest the new national security act.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuAnti-national security law protesters march at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider


July 1 marks the anniversary of the day that China gained control over Hong Kong from British rule in 1997. At that time, Hong Kong was designated a semi-autonomous state, with its own mini constitution called the Basic Law.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuPan-democratic legislator Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Vice convener for Hong Kong’s Civil Human Rights Front Figo Chan, and activist Leung Kwok-hung, also known as ‘Long Hair’, march at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider


But under the new national security act, Hong Kong’s freedoms are being eroded away.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuA couple walks past riot police as anti-national security law protesters march during the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider


On Wednesday, protesters heading toward the Causeway Bay, a popular shopping district in the city, were met by a band of police in riot gear.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuRiot police officers walk as anti-national security law protesters march during the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider


The police used tear gas and pepper spray to break up the demonstrations.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuRiot police fire tear gas into the crowds to disperse anti-national security law protesters during a march at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider


In this photo, Hong Kong police are seen targeting pepper spray projectiles at protesters.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuRiot police hold pepper-spray projectiles as they disperse anti-national security law protesters during a march at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Police also used water canons to clear the streets.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuRiot police use water cannon to disperse anti-national security law protesters during a march at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider


In order to try blocking the police, some protesters placed bricks throughout the roads. This tactic was used multiple times during pro-democracy protests last year.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuAnti-national security law protesters place bricks on road as a road block during a march at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Insider


Demonstrators were seen throwing mock paper money into the air as they protested the new national security act.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuAnti-national security law protesters throw mock paper money during a march against national security law at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

But the police were successful at detaining and arresting protesters.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuRiot police stop and search people during a march at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

At least 370 people were arrested, which included protesters as young as 15 years old.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuPeople are detained by riot police during a march against national security law at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: CNN


In this photo, a protester who was injured is seen being detained by police.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuAn injured woman is detained by riot police during a march against national security law at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Hong Kong police said some of the arrests were made for offences like “unlawful assemblies, disorderly conduct in public places [and] furious driving.” But at least 10 people were arrested for carrying materials displaying independence slogans.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuRiot police walk past a fire set by anti-national security law protesters during a march at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020

Source: Business Insider, CNN


On June 30, police were told to arrest anyone in violation of the new law who was seen waving independence flags or chanting pro-democracy slogans, CNN reported.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuA man lies on the ground as he is detained by riot police during a march against the national security law at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: CNN


One of those arrests included a man holding a pro-independence flag, while another was a woman holding an independence sign.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuAn anti-national security law protester holds a Hong Kong independence flag as he marches at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider


Under the national security act, any act or attempt of secession, subversion from Chinese law, terrorism, or collusion with outside forces is deemed illegal.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuAn anti-national security law protester holds a Hong Kong independence flag as he marches at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider


But the language of the law is ambiguous, and many fear the Chinese government will use its new authority to impose a broad range of penalties on Hong Kongers.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuRiot police stand in line as anti-national security law protesters march at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

According to the law, the punishment for acts of secession could include between three and 10 years of life in prison. Protests that result in damaged property or blocked transportation could be punishable by life in prison.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuA person is detained by riot police officers during a march against national security law at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider, The New York Times


The new law was passed unilaterally during a closed vote of China’s legislative body on Tuesday, and without the consent of Hong Kong’s chief executive.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuChinese national flags are seen on the ground during a march against national security law at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider


Critics of the law say it strips Hong Kong of its freedoms, and gives China sweeping authority to crush and punish dissent.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuRiot police stop and search people during a march against national security law at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020.

Source: Business Insider,Business Insider


The law came in reaction to last year’s protests, which saw tens of thousands of Hong Kongers take to the streets to demand an end to an a Chinese extradition bill, and support a pro-democracy movement.

REUTERS/Tyrone SiuRiot police use cable tie to detain a man during a march against national security law at the anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong, China July 1, 2020

Source: Insider


Fearing the effects of the new law, some political and activism groups have already disbanded, while others have removed pro-democracy materials from their social media accounts.

Kyodo News via Getty ImagesPolice officers keep watch on demonstrators in Hong Kong on July 1, 2020, who are staging a protest march against Beijing’s controversial national security law for the former British colony that came into force the previous day.

Source: CNN

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.