Hong Kong protests: Man with brain bleed, pregnant woman in hospital after mask-ban violence

Two Hong Kong protesters remain at Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment under police guard after being arrested on Monday, sources familiar with the matter said.

A 27-year-old man, arrested during Monday's protests, remained in intensive care on Wednesday after he was taken to hospital with a haemorrhage to the left side of his brain, two hospital sources told the South China Morning Post.

His injuries were caused by hard objects striking his head, one source said. Another said he was currently stable, and there were no signs of his condition deteriorating.

Twenty-nine people were injured and taken to hospital during anti-government protests across Hong Kong on Monday. More than 240 people were arrested, with 77 seized over the new anti-mask law, which came into effect on Saturday.

A 19-year-old woman, about eight months pregnant, was among those arrested Monday night for unlawful assembly and criminal damage to Siu Hong MTR station. She was later sent to Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment, with police officers seen guarding her delivery suite on Tuesday.

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In a bid to ease four months of social unrest triggered by the now-withdrawn extradition bill, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor invoked the colonial-era Emergency Regulations Ordinance to enact the mask ban at all protests.

Lam's anti-mask law sparked an immediate response from protesters over the long weekend, with police reporting a "sharp escalation in vandalism and property destruction".

Shops, MTR stations and facilities, public property and buildings were vandalised and the train network was forced to shut down.

Director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor Law Yuk-kai said though the cause of the 27-year-old man's injuries were not yet confirmed, he noted some police officers had hit protesters' heads with batons.

"Many uses of batons were unnecessary, and could be fatal if heads were hit," Law said. "It is more than a single incident. I am worried that it might become systematic abuse."

Amid the ongoing protests, Law urged police management to remove "emotional officers" from the front lines, and hold accountable those who violated the rules.

The Post has reached out to the police for a response.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.