Hundreds of protesters in Hong Kong surrendered to police on Tuesday following a days-long siege at the Polytechnic University which had become the city’s latest flashpoint.
Around 600 people gave themselves up at the campus in Hung Hom, which had become a battleground for pro-democracy protesters against the police over the weekend,
The surrenders were announced by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam in a press conference on Tuesday. She said 400 of the 600 were arrested, and the other 200 were let go because they are under 18.
A further hard core of 100 protesters remain at the campus, she said.
“If they can leave the campus in a peaceful way, the police will not use violence,” Lam said. Authorities have been clear in their desire to prosecute those
Many people attempted to escape the university campus earlier in the stand-off, using inventive methods in an attempt to avoid arrest.
On Monday night, a group of people trapped in the university abseiled down a footbridge down to getaway vehicles, according to the South China Morning Post.
Over the weekend a violent stand-off between protesters and the police took place, as police fired tear gas and water cannons filled with a dye that irritates the skin at the protesters, according to an earlier report from Business Insider.
The protesters gathered makeshift weapons such as javelins and bows and arrows, thought to have been taken from the athletic department of the university.
On Monday the police threatened to use live rounds if protesters did not “stop assaulting the police using cars, gas bombs and bows and arrows,” according to an earlier report from Business Insider.
Demonstrations in the semi-autonomous Chinese city erupted in June over a proposed extradition bill, but have since evolved to include demands for greater democratic freedoms.