Hong Kong: Rule of law on trial

With fierce protests testing the Chinese territory's legal system, its attraction as a financial hub is at stake

Police detaining an injured protester at the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Monday. The violence by both sides in Hong Kong has rapidly escalated, say the writers. And responsibility for the escalation lies mainly with the government a
Police detaining an injured protester at the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Monday. The violence by both sides in Hong Kong has rapidly escalated, say the writers. And responsibility for the escalation lies mainly with the government and police, opinion polls suggest.PHOTO: REUTERS

University campuses are the new front line of the Hong Kong protests. Images of defiant students clashing with armed police in centres of learning have stunned the world.

Yet perhaps the most shocking and potentially significant incident in five months of ever more violent scenes - and one of the main triggers for the campus protests - came when a police officer last week was caught on video firing his gun at point-blank range into the abdomen of a protester moving towards him. The black-clad figure slumped to the ground before trying to escape and being chased down.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2019, with the headline 'Hong Kong: Rule of law on trial'. Print Edition | Subscribe