HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police arrested 12 protesters blocking several roads as pro-democracy demonstrators returned to a site they had occupied for more than two months before police dispersed them, officials said Thursday.
A statement said police used pepper spray and batons overnight to break up the protest in the Mong Kok neighborhood and arrested demonstrators on charges ranging from assaulting a police officer to failing to produce proof of identity. The statement said two police officers were injured.
"Police had made repeated public announcements and displayed warning banners at the scene to urge them to leave the scene but they refused to comply," it said.
Over the last several months, thousands of mostly student protesters had occupied three busy neighborhoods, including Mong Kok, to demand that residents of the semiautonomous former British colony be allowed to elect their top executive in 2017 from an open list of candidates. Chinese officials are requiring that a committee believed friendly to Beijing select the candidates.
Police cleared out the last the of the protest sites on Dec. 15.