Police officers raise a warning banner at a downtown street in Hong Kong Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020. About 30 people were arrested…
Police officers raise a warning banner at a downtown street in Hong Kong, Sept. 6, 2020.

At least 289 people were arrested in Hong Kong Sunday during protests against the postponement of legislative elections.

 

The elections, originally scheduled to be held Sunday, are one of the few times Hong Kong residents get to cast ballots.

 

China’s hand-picked Hong Kong leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, announced in late July that the city’s election would be postponed for a year, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The move was widely seen as a blow to the pro-democracy camp, which was expected to do well in the election. The election would have been the first in Hong Kong since Beijing imposed a new security law in June. The government maintains the postponement was not politically motivated.

Riot police shot rounds of pepper balls at protesters Sunday, Reuters reported. Hong Kong police wrote in a Facebook post Sunday evening that 289 people had been arrested, mainly for gathering illegally. One woman was arrested and charged with assault and spreading pro-independence slogans, the police department said on its Facebook page.

Though smaller and less frequent than in 2019, protests for democracy and independence in Hong Kong have continued despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, particularly after the June legislation.