Friday 4 October 2019 9:02 am

Hong Kong: Government bans face masks in protest crackdown

The leader of Hong Kong has banned face masks as the clashes between protesters and police intensify.

Chief executive Carrie Lam has deployed emergency powers to prevent activists from masking their faces at demonstrations in the latest crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

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The colonial-era emergency law is likely to ramp up tensions in Hong Kong, where unrest was sparked in June in the wake of a controversial extradition bill.

The ban, which is set to come into effect on Saturday, has not been used since riots in 1967.

Lam said that violence was “destroying the city” and authorities could not “just leave the situation to get worse and worse.”

Earlier this week the clashes escalated when a a teenager was shot with a live police round.

Tsang Chi-kin took a bullet in his left shoulder during a fight with riot police officers in the Tsuen Wan district of Hong Kong and remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The shot came during a day of mass protests which overshadowed China’s National Day, the 70th anniversary celebrations of Communist rule.

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Hong Kong police had banned rallies but around 100,000 people took part in demonstrations across the city.

Police have fired warning shots above crowds before but the shooting was the first such incident in five months of protests.