Molotov cocktails are left over at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus in Hong Kong on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Police tightened their siege of the university campus where hundreds of protesters remained trapped overnight Tuesday in the latest dramatic episode in months of protests against growing Chinese control over the semi-autonomous city. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The Latest: China body criticizes court ruling on mask ban

November 18, 2019 - 10:45 pm

HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on Hong Kong protests (all times local):

11 a.m.

China’s rubber stamp parliament has criticized the Hong Kong high court’s ruling to strike down a ban on face masks.

A statement from the National People’s Congress’ Legislative Affairs Commission said some deputies had expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the court’s ruling. The statement said the decision “seriously weakened the rightful administrative powers” of Hong Kong’s leader and doesn’t conform with either the territory’s mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law, or the NPC’s decisions.

The commission said, “We are currently studying opinions and suggestions raised by some NPC deputies.”

The hint that Beijing may move to overrule the decision would possibly fuel further protests. The court ruled Monday that the mask ban infringes on fundamental rights more than is reasonably necessary for the furtherance of its goals. It was aimed at preventing protesters from hiding their identity to evade arrest but has been widely disregarded.

Creeping legal and political interference by Beijing is one of the key concerns driving the protests.


10:20 a.m.

Hong Kong’s leader says an estimated 100 protesters remain holed up in one of the city’s main universities that had been blockaded by police.

Leader Carrie Lam said Tuesday that 600 protesters 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. Lam said those under 18 would not be immediately arrested but could face charges later.

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