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Dozens in Hong Kong Demonstrate on China's National Day - 2002-10-01

Dozens of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists demonstrated Tuesday as the territory marked China's National Day. The protesters condemned human rights violations and curtailment of freedoms in the territory and in the mainland.

More than a dozen protesters in Hong Kong burned the Chinese flag as they marched toward the venue of National Day ceremonies attended by senior government officials and dignitaries. Police stopped the march and a brief scuffle ensued. However, no immediate arrests were made.

Leung Kwok-hung, spokesperson of the April 5 Action Group, said his group is demanding the release of political prisoners in the mainland, an end to China's one-party communist system and for China to account for the killing of student democracy activists in Beijing in 1989.

Another group of protesters demonstrated against the proposed controversial anti-subversion law in Hong Kong. The April 5 Action Group carried a coffin signifying what it called "evil" law. Democratic Party members demonstrating Tuesday said the law will curtail freedom of expression in the territory - by giving the government power to outlaw groups it finds objectionable.

A former British colony, Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule five years ago. But under the "one country, two systems" arrangement, Hong Kong residents enjoy civil liberties not normally allowed in the mainland.

October 1st marked the 53rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.