Brutality Of Hong Kong Protests Shown In Disturbing Video
Footage has emerged of the moment police allegedly attacked a handful of commuters on a near-empty train in Hong Kong.
The 45-second video uploaded to Twitter appears to show officers brutally beating individuals with batons as they cower next to the closed doors of the train, screaming for them to stop.
One man can be seen holding his hands up, pleading with officers to stop as he hugs a woman kneeling next to him.
Video of the brutality was posted by an anonymous Twitter account said to be located in Hong Kong, and shared by prominent Twitter user Joshua Potash.
"You may have seen footage of Hong Kong protests being less peaceful this weekend," Potash said.
"It’s because the people of Hong Kong are immensely angry at the police and their horrific brutality."
It's not known how this particular violent episode played out, with some claiming police were responsible for the initial violence while others claim officers were responding to protesters attacking citizens.
What is certain is that this wasn't the only train that riot police stormed trains and stations filled with commuters, swinging batons and making arrests.
"Hong Kong police used extreme violence on youngsters," said one Twitter user, alongside a video of a citizen being taken out.
Another showed a tourist being detained by at least five heavily-armed officers as he asks why he is being held.
Police said that the subway clearance operation was in response to reports of disruption and vandalisation, according to CNN.
At least 51 people were arrested, including activist leaders and lawmakers, with many accused of participating in an unauthorised assembly and "criminal damage" among other charges.
Saturday night was the single most violent night in the three months of protests thus far. A well as the commuter violence, demonstrators threw petrol bombs and set fires while police responded with water cannons and tear gas.
This particular day marked five years since the Beijing government banned fully democratic elections in China's special administrative region.
The protests themselves were prompted by the introduction of a bill that would allow extradition to mainland China. While city leader Carrie Lam agreed to indefinitely delay the bill, demonstrators are calling for the bill to be withdrawn completely as well as full democracy and an inquiry into police actions.
Police have begun to respond quicker to the violence and with more force, but there appears to be no end in sight to the protests.
It has now become the biggest political crisis in Hong Kong since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.
Protesters shifted their focus back to the city's airport on Sunday, blocking access to terminals and forcing more than a dozen flight cancellations.
The airport has been the focal point for activists because it's easy to block, having been built on a tiny island that can only be reached by bridges, and garners global attention.
"If we disrupt the airport, more foreigners will read the news about Hong Kong," one protester told Reuters.
Hong Kong democracy demonstrators try to calm a fellow demonstrator during a rally in Melbourne. Photo: AAP.
In August, the international airport was brought to a standstill for several days forcing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.
The protests hit Australian shores last month with a pro-Hong Kong rally in Melbourne descending into violent scuffles as protesters clashed with pro-China demonstrators.
Hundreds also gathered in Sydney's Martin Place on Friday night, where the planned rally appeared to be much calmer.