Police say Senado Square deployment not political

The Public Security Police Force (PSP) said yesterday that the decision to deploy officers to Senado Square to deter a possible unlawful gathering of protesters was made with security considerations in mind, not political ones.

Permission to hold the protest was rejected by the governing authority last week and the activity was subsequently cancelled by its yet unidentified organizer. Nevertheless, the PSP and the Judiciary police sent officers to guard the planned location for the protest, Senado Square, as well as other nearby streets.

The PSP said that it detained seven people on Monday night suspected of being involved in the illegal gathering. However, a video taken by journalists shows about two dozen people, either in black or white t-shirts, lined up facing a wall being searched or detained by police.

The police also said yesterday that nobody was formally arrested or charged during the course of the police deployment. Instead, the seven people it detained were taken for questioning.

The organizer behind the protest remains unknown. High-profile democrats in Macau, such as lawmaker Sulu Sou and the New Macau Association, distanced themselves from the event and denied involvement. DB

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