Hong Kong’s China-tied government announced new law under which wearing a mask will be illegal with few exceptions applied, Hong Kongers are angry at this move, as they believe that their government is completely manipulated by the Communist Party of China (CCP).
“Thousands of people swept into the streets of Hong Kong for a night of violent protests after the government activated sweeping colonial-era powers for the first time in over half a century, using them to ban face masks.
After darkness fell, crowds set fire to two metro stations and vandalised shops and businesses considered pro-China, leading riot police to respond with teargas”, theguardian.com reported.
The Hong Kong government has invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) to implement an anti-mask law to curb protests.
The law bans protesters from covering their faces in full or partially during protests, while anyone who wears mask at lawful rallies and marches, unlawful or unauthorised assemblies, or at riots could be sentenced to a year in jail and a fine of HK$25,000.
Exemptions to the ban include those wearing masks at protests for professional or paid work, or for religious or medical reasons.
The law also states that anyone who will not comply with a police order to remove a mask could be sentenced to six months in jail and a HK$10,000 fine. The definition of “facial covering” not only includes masks, but also items such as paint.
“The decision to enact an anti-mask law is not easy one, but it is a necessary decision considering the situation today,” Carrie Lam said.
The controversial legislation will be in effect starting from on Friday, millions are expected to protest against it.