Hong Kong Protests
HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on protests in Hong Kong (all times local):
A group of pro-democracy Hong Kong legislators has filed a legal challenge against the government's use of a colonial-era emergency law to criminalize the wearing of face masks at rallies to quell anti-government demonstrations, as the protests diminished in intensity but didn't stop.
The mask ban that went into effect at midnight Friday triggered an overnight rash of widespread violence and destruction in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, including the setting of fires and attacks on an off-duty police officer who fired a live shot in self-defense that wounded a 14-year-old teen.
Two activists failed to obtain a court injunction Friday against the ban on face coverings.
In a second bid, lawmaker Dennis Kwok said a group of 24 legislators filed a legal appeal to block the anti-mask law on wider constitutional grounds. He said the city's leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, acted in bad faith by bypassing the Legislative Council, Hong Kong's parliament, in invoking the emergency law.
Hong Kong's embattled leader has described overnight rioting "as a very dark day" for the semi-autonomous territory and says "everyone is worried and scared."
In a pre-recorded televised address broadcast Saturday as demonstrators again started to march, many wearing face masks in defiance of a new ban, a solemn Carrie Lam did not announce additional measures to quell increasingly violent protests.
She defended the legality of the ban criminalizing the wearing of masks at rallies that took effect at midnight.
Describing Hong Kong as being in the grips of "unprecedented violence," Lam said that "to protect citizens' daily lives and freedoms, I cannot allow the small minority of rioters to destroy that."
All subway and trains services are closed in Hong Kong after another night of rampaging violence that a new ban on face masks failed to quell.
After widespread overnight arson attacks, looting, fighting with police and beatings, the government on Saturday called on the public to swing behind it in condemning the increasingly violent protests.
John Lee, the government's security secretary, says by not condemning violence, people are stoking it.
The MTR transport network, a frequent target of rioters, says all its services are suspended, including the rail line to Hong Kong international airport.