Hong Kong prepares to evict some pro-democracy protesters

Hong Kong police will move Tuesday to evict some of the pro-democracy protesters who have been blocking main roads for more than seven weeks, a statement said.

AFP| Last Updated: Nov 17, 2014, 22:15 PM IST

Hong Kong: Hong Kong police will move Tuesday to evict some of the pro-democracy protesters who have been blocking main roads for more than seven weeks, a statement said.

Police said they would give "fullest support" to civilian bailiffs carrying out a court order to clear access to a skyscraper in the Admiralty district.

In a statement late Monday they pledged "resolute action" against anyone obstructing the bailiffs, saying they could face charges of criminal contempt of court.

Protesters since September 28 have been staging sit-ins on three major thoroughfares, demanding a free leadership election for the semi-autonomous Chinese city in 2017.

The court order to be enforced Tuesday, granted at the request of the building owners, relates only to the area around CITIC Tower in the Admiralty business and government district.

It does not cover the entire area of the sit-in at Admiralty, where demonstrators have pitched a sea of colourful tents across an eight-lane highway.

But similar court orders have been issued or are being sought for other blocked roads in the city, as China refuses to budge on protesters` demands and public opinion starts turning against the campaigners.

For the first time since it started the poll in September, Hong Kong`s Chinese University found more people opposed the Occupy movement than supported it, according to the South China Morning Post.

About 67 per cent of all respondents said protesters should go home, it reported.

A police source quoted by the paper said roads in the Mongkok district in Kowloon would also be cleared this week.

The protests, which drew tens of thousands at times initially, have dwindled markedly in size.

China has refused to back down on its insistence that candidates for the 2017 election must be vetted by a loyalist committee, a decision critics say is designed to ensure the election of a pro-Beijing stooge.