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HK court bans protesters from police housing areas

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Injunction also bans people from shining laser pens or other flash lights at police facilities

HONG KONG: A Hong Kong court has granted an injunction to ban anyone from blocking or damaging areas used to house married police officers and other disciplined services that have been targeted in pro-democracy protests.

The move is the government's latest step to try to check the protests following Chief Executive Carrie Lam's decision earlier this month to invoke colonial-era emergency measures to outlaw face masks.

Mrs Lam said yesterday while every means should be considered to quell unrest, concessions to the protesters in the face of escalating violence would make matters worse.

"I have said on many occasions that violence will not give us the solution. Violence would only breed more violence," she told a news conference.

Demonstrators have besieged and hurled petrol bombs at police housing areas in the city, damaging facilities, police said in a statement yesterday.

The injunction on protests in police housing areas also prohibits the obstruction of roads and bans people from shining laser pens or other flash lights at police facilities.

The government refuses to concede to the protesters' demand for an independent inquiry into accusations of police brutality. Police, who have been seen beating protesters on the ground with batons, say they have shown restraint.

Protesters have called for universal suffrage, but yesterday, the South China Morning Post reported that Mrs Lam had told the European Union's representative in Hong Kong there was nothing to be gained by opening a discussion on that as it could not be delivered at present.

She said her traditional annual address will focus on land and housing, Reuters reported.


Some economists also expect measures to support the retail sector. "It (policy support) will mainly come from increasing the housing stock.

Housing seems to be the big issue at the moment," said OCBC Wing Hang Bank economist Carie Li.

Meanwhile, basketball superstar LeBron James was accused of turning a blind eye to Chinese repression after he criticised Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey for angering China with a "misinformed" tweet supporting protesters in Hong Kong, AFP reported.

The Lakers forward told reporters Mr Morey "wasn't educated" on Hong Kong and should have kept his mouth shut.

His remarks drew praise from Chinese social media users, who have savaged Mr Morey, but the US reaction on Twitter was swift and harsh, lambasting the biggest name in the NBA.