Anti-government protesters returned to the streets of Hong Kong over the Christmas holiday, clashing with riot police in malls and busy shopping districts across the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
The city’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, accused the demonstrators of ruining the holiday. Her critics say the government and police used unnecessarily heavy-handed tactics to disperse what began as peaceful gatherings.
Hundreds of black-clad protesters occupied malls and other shopping areas on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as part of the months-long campaign for democratic and police reforms in the city.
Unlike in mainland China, December 25 and December 26 are public holidays in Hong Kong, where around 12% of the population are Christian.