“Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung is demanding the government explain why it classified Monday’s clashes in Mong Kok as rioting.
The League of Social Democrats lawmaker said the police should show evidence before bringing the serious charge of rioting against those arrested, public broadcaster RTHK reports.
Leung said the March 1966 violence over Star Ferry fares was only branded as a disturbance, so there is no reason to categorize the Mong Kok clashes as a riot.
The events were also blamed on longstanding social problems and discontent in Hong Kong.
Some 300 people were brought before the courts and more than 250 received sentences of up to two years’ imprisonment, the report said.
Meanwhile, a member of student activist group Scholarism, Derek Lam, appeared in Kowloon City Court on Friday charged with rioting.
No plea was taken and the case was adjourned until April 7.
Lam was granted HK$2,000 bail but banned from entering certain parts of Mong Kok, except when changing public transport there.
Another defendant, Yung Wai-yip, who is also facing a rioting charge, was granted bail on the same terms as Lam. No plea was taken from him and his case was also adjourned to April 7.
A 15-year-old student appeared in the Kowloon City Juvenile Court but no plea was taken. He was granted HK$3,000 bail and banned from entering certain parts of MongKok.
He was placed under an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
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