Footage of Hong Kong’s protests have captured the moment a police officer was left bloodied in a vicious stabbing.
A clip taken during pro-democracy demonstrations today captured a particularly violent clash between police and protesters.
Hong Kong police fired water cannons and tear gas today as protesters took to the streets as tensions boil over sweeping security legislation introduced by China that critics say is aimed at silencing dissent.
Protesters say they are defending their freedoms from the laws, allowing mainland China more authority in reforms sharply criticised by allies including Britain.
In the clip of one violent clash during today’s marches, a crowd can be seen racing along a street with people filming as police chase a man.
An officer tackles him to the ground as crowds flock around them.
Suddenly, a man in a blue shirt wearing a black face mask and baseball cap leans over a railing with a knife.
He appears to stab the officer twice in his arm as the policeman recoils.
In closer footage, police can be seen helping an injured young officer limping to the side of the road with his arm covered in blood as people shout.
He is filmed sitting with a bandage on his arm before being taken away on a stretcher.
According to the South China Morning Post, the officer was stabbed while he tried to make an arrest during Wednesday’s protests.
Police later reportedly said the policeman was trying to subdue a suspect in Causeway Bay, but was attacked by a group including one individual armed with a small knife who fled after the assault.
Hong Kong Police said earlier more than 300 people had been arrested for offences like unlawful assemblies, disorderly conduct in public places, furious driving, and breach of national security law.
Recent unrest on Hong Kong comes amid repeated protests at what many residents fear is a creeping push for power from mainland China.
Beijing unveiled the details of a much-anticipated law late on Tuesday after weeks of uncertainty, pushing China’s freest city on to a more authoritarian path.
The law punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
It will allow mainland security agencies in Hong Kong for the first time and allow for extradition to China for trial.
China’s parliament adopted the law in response to protests last year triggered by fears that Beijing was stifling the city’s freedoms, guaranteed by a “one country, two systems” formula agreed when it returned to Chinese rule.
Thousands of protesters gathered downtown on Wednesday for an annual rally marking the anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to China in 1997.
Riot police used pepper spray and fired pellets as they made arrests after crowds spilled into the streets chanting “resist till the end” and “Hong Kong independence”.
Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the legislation is aimed at a few “troublemakers” and will not affect rights and freedoms, nor investor interests.
But critics fear it is aimed ending the pro-democracy opposition and will crush the freedoms that are seen as key to Hong Kong’s success as a prized global financial centre.
The United States and its Asian and Western allies have criticised the legislation.
Britain said it would stand by its word and today Boris Johnson formally offered all those in Hong Kong with British National Overseas status a “bespoke” immigration route.
The PM said he would introduce a new route for those with British national (overseas) status – ‘BNO’ to live and work in the UK and apply for citizenship.
Cyurrently 300,000 people hold the status, but it is thought as many as 3million could be eligible.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab earlier described today’ss protests as heartbreaking and reprimanded HSBC and other banks for supporting the new law.
Mr Raab said the rights of Hong Kong should not be sacrificed for bankers’ bonuses.