United Nations (UN) human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Saturday said that he was "troubled" by the violent pro-democracy protests in China-administered Hong Kong. Bachelet said that any measures by China to quel the protests must be in accordance to the law.
During a visit to Malaysia, Bachelet strongly condemned all the acts of violence from all sides. She said, "We are troubled by the high levels of violence associated with some demonstrations that have been taking place in the past days."
Hong Kong witnessed another spell of violence on Friday after the city's leader Carrie Lam banned face masks at demonstrations, invoking colonial-era emergency powers not used for half a century.
When asked about the ban on face covering, the UN human rights chief said: "We believe that any restriction must have a legitimate and formal basis in law, has to be proportionate."
"Freedom of peaceful assembly... should be enjoyed without restriction to the greatest extent possible. But on the other hand, we cannot accept people who use masks to provoke violence," she added.
Most of Hong Kong ground to a halt Saturday following the previous night's violence, with the subway suspended and shops shuttered, while hundreds of masked protesters took to the streets again in defiance of the face mask ban.
(With PTI inputs)