The Chinese Parliament is attacking a Hong Kong court ruling that overturned the disputed ban on the mask, threatening to inflame the territory where the university's police siege entered its third day.
In a statement issued by the official Xinhua News Agency, a spokesman for the National People's Congress said members of the Law and Labor Committee "expressed grave concern" and "strong dissatisfaction" with the Hong Kong Supreme Court ruling that overturned the ban on the Hong Kong Supreme Court masks applied in early October.
The NPC of Tuesday's announcement does not formally reject the decision of the Hong Kong court. But by signaling its opposition before the Hong Kong government can even appeal the ruling in its own court of final appeal, the NPC risks fueling protests motivated by the belief that the city's freedoms were eroded by Beijing.
The ban, which was banned from wearing masks during public meetings, was accepted after Hong Kong chief executive Kari Lam accepted emergency powers that allowed her to actually bypass parliament on the territory, the Legislative Council.
Demonstrators of the city's increasingly violent protests use masks to evade police identification.
In its ruling on Monday, a Hong Kong court stated that the Emergency Powers Regulation used by Ms Lam was a colonial relic, most recently triggered in 1
"Whether Hong Kong's laws are in accordance with the basic law can only be assessed and decided by the NPC Standing Committee," added a spokesman. "No other authority has the power to make [such] decisions and decisions."
Chinese officials strongly support both the use of the Emergency Powers Ordinance and the ban on masks that they believe were necessary to suppress the ongoing protest movement. his sixth month.
"If the spokesman [message] is to change his footing to refuse in full the courts of the HC to interpret [Basic Law] in the course of decisions, this is a shocking restriction on judicial autonomy. If msg is just a "useful reminder" that the NPCSC has the last word for interpretation, then this is as usual, " tweeted Stuart Hargreaves, Associate Professor of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The rebellion was prompted by opposition to an extradition bill that would allow suspected criminals to be sent to mainland China for trial. The bill was withdrawn.
Demonstrators' demands now focus on an independent judicial inquiry into the crisis, including allegations of systematic police brutality against protesters and the introduction of democratic elections for the CEO of Hong Kong and all 70 members of the Legislative Council.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng's share index rose 1.6% on Tuesday afternoon. This led to gains this week of about 2.5%, which helped nail more than half of the decline of nearly 5% from last week.
The NPC is a print body that meets for two weeks every March. According to basic law, its standing committee, which meets on a monthly basis, is the supreme constitutional body of Hong Kong. The NPC Standing Committee issued "legal reinterpretations" of various Hong Kong laws that virtually overturned court decisions in the territory.
The court's ruling came as police besieged the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, capturing hundreds of Sunday protesters and sincere violent clashes. The battle forced the closure of the Cross Harbor Tunnel, which links the main business area of the territory to Kowloon Peninsula and the rest of the city.
Several protesters fled the campus Monday night, escaping the police border. Others were arrested when they tried to leave.
Ms. Lam said that 600 people left campus by Tuesday morning, 200 of them were minors. Police are recording their personal details and warning they may face further investigation. The 400 adults who left were immediately arrested while the other 100 remained on campus, she said.
"We will use every means possible to continue to persuade and arrange for those remaining protesters to leave the campus as soon as possible, so that this whole operation. can end peacefully, "Ms Lam told reporters.
She said that she could not comment on the decision of the Supreme Court.
On Tuesday afternoon, relatives gathered in front of a police border near a bridge leading to the blackened entrance of the university.
A woman who identified herself only as Ms. Chan said she waited two days for her 18-year-old son, who was trapped on campus. "I'm really worried and helpless." She urged her son not to be "so stubborn. Hear us and come out. ”
Ms. Chan refused to leave campus. "At least I'm here, closer to him," she said.
Government and police spokesmen have vowed to blame anyone who left the besieged university for "riots", which carries up to 10 years in prison.
The NPC statement is Beijing's strongest statement since late last month it hinted that it would take stronger steps to restore order.
Additional reporting by Joe Lehi and Nicole Liu in Hong Kong