Hong Kong High Court on Sunday dismissed an application put forth by 24 pro-democracy legislators, seeking a temporary suspension of a controversial new mask ban imposed by the government using a colonial-era emergency law.
The legislators argued that the government's use of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to enact a ban with criminal implications had disproportionately infringed on citizens' rights and bypassed the city legislature, making it unconstitutional.
Thousands of activists hit the streets on Sunday in defiance of the regulation, despite the city's transport network remaining partially suspended, reported Al Jazeera. Sunday's protest was the first significant public gathering since the ban came into effect on Friday midnight.
Multiple rounds of tear gas were fired by the police on the protestors who marched through the streets wearing masks in defiance of the law.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor imposed the ban in the hope it would quell several months of anti-government protests, which were sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill and have descended into regular outbreaks of violence.
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