MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – Police arrested eight people Thursday morning in Hong Kong's commercial district of Mong Kok, according to the Hong Kong government website.
The government reported that the detainees, who have occupied Mong Kok district for more than 20 days along with other protesters, include seven men and one woman who are suspected to be involved in 13 criminal cases in the district's neighborhoods. These incidents include assaults, possession of weapons, disorderly conduct in public places and arson.
According to the website, local police have warned that occupied streets of Mong Kok remain risky areas because of protestors' longstanding clashes with and authorities and numerous offences they are committing, and have called on people not to allow their children to visit the protest site.
The continuous standoff in Mong Kok has brought traffic to a standstill, causing heavy losses for transport companies, as demonstrators still refuse to leave the site or to move to an area approved by the police, the Hong Kong government states.
Last Saturday, the Hong Kong government reported on its website that 26 people were arrested in the Mong Kok district after protesters had illegally occupied the roads. Police used pepper spray and batons to halt the demonstration.
Major protests in Hong Kong broke out in September, as students took to the streets, launching a boycott of classes. They were later joined by the Occupy Central movement. They blocked the streets and erected barricades, demanding that the Chinese government reconsiders its plans for electoral reform.
The reform envisages the election of Hong Kong's leadership in the 2017 direct elections only from a restricted list of candidates appointed by Beijing.