HONG KONG — The police returned management of Hong Kong Polytechnic College’s campus to high school officers on Friday, bringing to an finish one of the crucial intense durations of battle since protests started to engulf the town earlier this yr.
The police, who arrested tons of of individuals throughout their two-week siege of the campus, stated they discovered no protesters there throughout a ultimate search on Friday morning. Investigators discovered practically 4,000 firebombs on the campus over the previous two days, in addition to different explosive objects and bottles of corrosive liquids, the police stated.
The siege, which was punctuated by days of clashes between the police and protesters, ended quietly as college officers resumed management of the shattered campus on the southeastern facet of the Kowloon Peninsula.
There is not going to be “any ceremony or occasion to shake palms or stuff like that,” Chow Yat-ming, an assistant police commissioner, stated Friday morning earlier than officers left the campus.
The protests started in June over laws, since withdrawn, that might have allowed the extradition of felony suspects to mainland China. It has continued over different points, together with requires expanded elections and an investigation into the police’s use of drive.
Hong Kong universities turned the facilities of particularly massive protests this month after the loss of life of a pupil, Chow Tsz-lok, who fell from a parking garage during a police operation.
The Chinese language College of Hong Kong was occupied by protesters for five days in mid-November, and a number of other different colleges noticed massive demonstrations. Many campuses minimize their semesters quick due to the unrest.
Protesters additionally set hearth to tollbooths close to the campus, resulting in the two-week closure of a serious tunnel linking the Kowloon Peninsula with Hong Kong Island.
The police stated greater than 5,800 folks had been arrested in reference to the protests since early June, together with practically 1,500 folks over the previous two weeks.
Polytechnic College and the streets round it noticed large-scale clashes between riot law enforcement officials and protesters who have been making an attempt to assist others flee the besieged campus. The police fired greater than 1,400 tear fuel rounds on Nov. 18 alone, as massive numbers of protesters tried to interrupt via the police cordon across the college.
Protesters hurled bricks and firebombs on the police, and at one level an armored police automobile was engulfed in flames. One officer was hit within the leg with an arrow.
Some protesters managed to flee the campus by leaping fences when the police weren’t watching. In a single dramatic second, just a few rappelled onto a roadway and have been taken away by folks on bikes. Others tried however failed to flee via sewers.
The police detained about 1,100 folks close to the campus on Nov. 18 and 19.
The protests in Hong Kong quieted dramatically within the days earlier than Sunday, when elections have been held for district councils throughout the town. Pro-democracy candidates dominated the vote, which had been seen as a referendum on the protest motion, taking 87 % of the seats.
On Wednesday, President Trump signed legislation that licensed sanctions on officers deemed accountable for human rights violations in Hong Kong. Demonstrators in Hong Kong celebrated that laws with a peaceable gathering Thursday night time.
Ezra Cheung and Elaine Yu contributed reporting.