Hong Kong court strikes down face mask ban

Cheryl Sanders
November 19, 2019

The government's controversial ban on wearing masks is unconstitutional a Hong Kong court ruled on Monday, delivering a fresh legal blow to an administration that is struggling to contain increasingly violent protests.

The University of British Columbia also recommended on Friday that its students on exchange in Hong Kong leave the area.

A B.C. university is reaching out to students in Hong Kong to "discuss their options" in light of ongoing tensions.

A boost to property sales last month from the relaxation of mortgage rules has proven short-lived as the protests escalate.

The school has also contacted its partner universities - the Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong University - to confirm the schools are working to ensure the safety of UBC's students.

A police spokesperson said at a daily news conference later Monday that the force will stop enforcing the anti-mask law, but added that it had been helpful for officers' operations.

"The Hong Kong government bears primary responsibility for bringing calm to Hong Kong", Pompeo said.

Hong Kong police earlier accused demonstrators of using unsafe tactics against riot police.

Hong Kong's economy has slumped into technical recession because of the months of protests, denting its global image as a place to do business, said Lui.

The campus is one of five universities to remain occupied.

"The future of Hong Kong, if such a situation continues, would be unimaginably terrible".

Young protesters hurled petrol bombs to counter a police attempt to disperse them with tear gas.

Protesters advanced on the police from outside the cordon, while others emerged from the campus, their trademark umbrellas at the fore.

Mr Manning said graduations planned for some of the students have been cancelled and plans have been made to pay for them to return to the UK.

Neither York nor U of T have students at Hong Kong Polytechnic.

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