Intended for healthcare professionals


Hong Kong protests: police response is public health crisis, doctors say

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 25 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6671
  1. Hong Kong correspondent
  1. Hong Kong

Healthcare workers in Hong Kong have condemned the Hong Kong Police Force for failing to abide by international humanitarian norms during clashes with protesters, after doctors and nurses were among those arrested on 17 November as they tried to leave a protest at the city’s Polytechnic University.

They have also called on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s government to compel the police to release safety data for the Chinese made tear gas being used, so that the public health risks can be assessed.

The protests began in June 2019 in opposition to a since-withdrawn bill that would allow China to request extradition of Hong Kong citizens. The protests have since turned into a wider call for democratic reform and accountability for the police handling of the crisis. Most of the confrontations between police and protesters involved street battles, but the encounters changed in November when two university campuses became the …

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