September 2, 2014 / 3:07 AM / in 3 years

Hong Kong police arrest 19 in pro-democracy scuffles

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong police said on Tuesday they arrested 19 people during scuffles with pro-democracy activists prompted by China’s decision not to allow the Asian financial hub to choose its next leader.

A pro-democracy activist is detained by the police during a confrontation outside the hotel where China's National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee Deputy General Secretary Li Fei is staying, in Hong Kong September 1, 2014. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

The 19, aged between 20 and 45, were arrested on Monday for illegal assembly, trying to force their way on to a carriageway, charging a police line and for pushing barriers, a police spokeswoman said.

Media in the territory reported the arrests of a further three at home.

There were no reports of injuries in the clashes.

Police used pepper spray to disperse activists as Hong Kong center braces for a wave of disruptive protests against China’s decision.

Hong Kong is in the midst of a political upheaval as activists in the former British colony push for full democracy. Beijing has said it will allow a vote, but only for pre-screened candidates.

Reporting by Tyrone Siu and Clare Baldwin; Editing by Nick Macfie

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