Last holdouts surrounded by police at Hong Kong university
Surrounded by police
City leader Carrie Lam said 600 people had left the Hong Kong Polytechnic campus, including 200 who are under 18 years old.
Police have surrounded the university and are arresting anyone who leaves. Groups of protesters made several attempts to escape Monday, including sliding down hoses to waiting motorcycles, but it wasn't clear if they evaded arrest.
Facing possible arrest and charges
``We will use whatever means to continue to persuade and arrange for these remaining protesters to leave the campus as soon as possible so that this whole operation could end in a peaceful manner,'' she said after a weekly meeting with advisers.
The latest battleground
Universities became the latest battleground last week, as protesters occupied several campuses, using gasoline bombs and bows and arrows to fend off riot police backed by armored cars and water cannon. Those at Polytechnic are the last holdouts.
Protesters milled about in small groups. Family members and teachers arrived sporadically to pick up those under 18, hugging their children before walking back to a police checkpoint, where officers recorded names and other information before letting them go.
The Japanese government said one of its citizens had been arrested near the Polytechnic campus. Japanese media identified him as Hikaru Ida, a student at Tokyo University of Agriculture. Officials did not say why he was arrested.
Ban on "face masks"
China hinted it might overrule the Hong Kong's high court ruling on Monday to strike down a ban on face masks that was aimed at preventing protesters from hiding their identity to evade arrest.
A statement from the National People's Congress' Legislative Affairs Commission said the decision doesn't conform with territory's constitution, known as the Basic Law, or decisions by the Congress.
``We are currently studying opinions and suggestions raised by some NPC deputies,'' the statement said.
Monday's ruling said the ban infringes on fundamental rights more than is reasonably necessary. The ban has been widely disregarded.