Hong Kong: Hong Kong's Civil Human Rights Front on Friday decided to cancel the march it had convened over the weekend after failing to get permission from the police to conduct it.
The Front is behind the biggest marches held in Hong Kong since the eruption of the political crisis in early June, sparked by the now-abandoned extradition bill, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent back to mainland China.
The police had banned the march and its organizers appealed the decision, albeit unsuccessfully, prompting them to finally cancel it "to protect all our participants and make sure that no one could bear legal consequences because of participating in the protests", Efe news quoted CHRF Vice Convener Bonnie Leung as saying in a statement.
"Therefore, the CHRF has no option but to cancel the march tomorrow. The CHRF would like to sincerely apologize to all the public but the CHRF will continue to apply for marches and rallies with the same theme," she added.
According to Leung, "it's significant that they still decided to reject the application for march to organizations like us. It's a total violation of the basic human rights of the Hong Kong people (...) you cannot have confidence in this system".
The decision to call off the protest comes hours after activists Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow of the pro-democracy party Demosisto, and pro-independence activist Andy Chan, were arrested, leading to heightened tensions.
Following the arrests, Demosisto issued a statement accusing the authorities of conducting large scale raids in an attempt to scale protesters in a "political" operation.