Hong Kong High Court Denies Injunction Filed by Students After Violent Campus Clashes With Riot Police

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Meanwhile, protesters receive messages of support from students in mainland China

A Hong Kong court has rejected an emergency injunction filed by the student union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)—the site of an intense standoff between police and protesters on Nov. 12—that sought to prevent riot police from entering the campus without a search warrant and firing crowd control equipment without the schools approval.

Riot police reported that they fired more than 1,500 crowd control bullets and 1,567 canisters of tear gas on Nov. 12, the majority of which was on CUHK campus grounds.

Police said they were responding to reports of CUHK students throwing objects onto a highway near the school during a city-wide strike fueled by widespread anger over the death of a 22-year-old protester and desperate calls for the Hong Kong government to answer protester demands. Students had also disrupted metro services near the campus.

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CUHK
Protesters rest on a bridge over the Tolo Highway at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in Hong Kong on Nov. 13, 2019. (ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

When student protesters built up barricades to prevent police from entering the university premises, police began their onslaught.

When the school president sought to negotiate with police to calm tensions, police fired more tear gas. Officers did not retreat until late in the evening.

Read MorePolice Besiege Hong Kong Campus in Nighttime Clashes With Student ProtestersPath of No Return: Hong Kong Protests Reach New Intensity, Prompting Fears of Protracted Crisis

The following morning, the CUHK student union filed with the injunction with the High Court of Hong Kong. After an evening hearing on Nov. 13, the court ruled against the order, saying that police had the power to disperse any gathering that they reasonably believed could lead to a “breach of peace,” regardless of wider issues, according to local broadcaster RTHK.

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The union had argued that according to Article 29 of Hong Kongs Basic Law and Article 14 of the Bill of Rights, armed police cannot enter the private area of the campus without permission or a search warrant.

But Justice Wilson Chan Ka-shun, referencing section 17(2) of the Public Order Ordinance, said in his judgment that the students failed to establish a serious case against the police actions in light of the strike movements actions to “paralyse Hong Kong.”

For the first time since the mass protests against Beijings encroachment over city affairs began in June, police escalated their tactics and stormed college campuses throughout Hong Kong, including CUHK, on Nov. 11 to make arrests.

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CUHK
A man is detained after police fired tear gas at CUHK on Nov. 12, 2019. ( Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images)

In response to the escalating tensions, the university announced on Nov. 13 that it was ending the current school term immediately, with all classes scheduled for the remaining two weeks to be cancelled. Students will return to school on Jan. 2, 2020, when the new term starts, the university said.

“Objectively, CUHK stopping the school term in advance is a way of forcing all students to leave the campus. Thus, the students who stay wont be protected by the school,” U.S.-based China commentator Tang Jingyuan told The Epoch Times on Nov. 13.

Besieged

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CUHK
Protesters gather during clashes with police at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in Hong Kong on Nov. 12, 2019. (Dale De La Rey/AFP via Getty Images)

Protesters shared on Twitter that they collected 2,356 tear gas cartridges after the police besieged the campus on Tuesday evening—far more than the official police count.

The Hong Kong Hospital Authority said that 51 people, aged between 10 months to 81, were sent to the hospital from protest sites throughout Hong Kong on Nov. 12.

According to Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, the Hong Kong barrister who represented the CUHK student union before the High Court on Nov. 13, 119 people were injured during the clashes at the school.

Many Hongkongers throughout town tried to deliver supplies to students at CUHK on Tuesday evening and Wednesday. Hong Kong singer and activist Denise Ho posted on Twitter that she wasRead More – Source