- A video circulating on social media by prominent pro-democracy activists shows a woman being sprayed in the face and tackled by police in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
- Those who reposted the video say police used pepper spray against the woman, though it is unclear from the video.
- Social media users also claimed that the woman was pregnant at the time of the incident, though that has not been confirmed.
- Protests in Hong Kong have entered their 24th week, with the last several days marked by an uptick in violence.
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A video circulating online shows a woman being sprayed with a liquid directly in the face before being tackled to the ground by police during a tense standoff in Hong Kong.
The video first appeared on the Facebook page Hong Kong Girlfriend on Tuesday and has since been shared dozens of times on Twitter by prominent pro-democracy leaders. Those who shared the video include Joshua Wong, who rose to fame as the face of the 2014 Umbrella protests, Member of Parliament Ray Chan, and Lo Kin-hei, the vice-chairman of The Democratic Party of Hong Kong.
—Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) November 12, 2019
According to Chan, the incident is believed to have taken place at a pedestrian bridge near Hung Hom station in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong.
Footage of the incident shows a woman confronting officers before she is sprayed in the face with an unknown liquid. Social media users who reposted the footage claimed the liquid was pepper spray, though it is unclear from the video.
The woman attempts to swat the spraying device from the officer’s hands but is sprayed again in the face before being tackled to the ground by several officers. The woman is then pinned to the ground by officers as a concerned crowd of bystanders looks on.
According to Wong and others who posted the video, the woman was believed to be pregnant at the time of the incident, though it is unclear from the video and has not been publicly confirmed.
Police have not yet publicly commented on the incident.
The standoff comes one day after police fired live rounds at point-blank range, injuring at least one protester. According to the Associated Press, the police said only one protester was hit and underwent surgery.
Protesters, angered by the shooting, clashed with police on Tuesday and caused major transit delays and blocked roads. At the Chinese University of Hong Kong, protesters threw petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas, according to The New York Times.
Protests that began in June over an extradition bill have now entered into their 24th week and in recent weeks have seen an uptick in violent response from both protesters and police.
Police have been clashing with protesters for several days. On Sunday, police fired tear gas in several districts and claimed that protesters “vandalized shops and facilities in several malls, causing breach of the peace.”