Protesters took to the streets to reject Beijing’s imposition of a controversial national security law and to demand the return of 12 Hong Kongers who were arrested at sea by Chinese authorities in August as they tried to reach Taiwan.
The new law aims to tackle subversion, terrorism, separatism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison.
Police had banned the protest, citing coronavirus-related restrictions on group gatherings and violence at previous marches. Groups of four are the largest allowed under the measures.
More than 50 people were arrested and put on buses. Police said they were looking for two men who threw petrol bombs to block traffic in another area of the city.
“Over the past three months, the plain truth is, and it is obvious to see, that stability has been restored to society while national security has been safeguarded, and our people can continue to enjoy their basic rights and freedoms”, Lam said.