Following the most violent confrontations of the Hong Kong protests so far during a police siege at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong Man-Kei Tam said:
“By laying siege to Polytechnic University and firing tear gas and rubber bullets at people trying to flee, the Hong Kong Police are yet again fanning the flames of violence when they should be trying to defuse it.
“It is the police’s responsibility to de-escalate this situation, but instead of assisting injured protesters trapped at the University they are unlawfully arresting the medics attempting to treat the wounded.
“The increasingly violent nature of the Hong Kong protests and the resultant injuries to bystanders and others is alarming, but the heavy-handed police response to largely peaceful demonstrations over the past months is the main cause of this escalation. Their threat today that protesters could face live ammunition is a further aggressive move that heightens the risk of tragedy on the streets.