(Dec 23): Hong Kong’s streets returned to relative normalcy going into the Christmas holiday after a tense weekend in which a police officer drew and pointed his revolver at a protesting crowd but no shots were fired.

Sunday’s incident came after a reported attack on police during a demonstration in support of minority Muslim Uighurs, who have been subject to a crackdown by the Chinese government in the far western region of Xinjiang. There was no escalation beyond what have become routine weekend scuffles and arrests in the Asian financial hub.

Often-violent protests over the last six months have centered on the city’s freedom from China’s grip. But the latest round of demonstrations expanded to the rights of the Uighurs. A United Nations assessment has estimated that tens of thousands to “upwards of 1 million” members of the minority have been detained in the mainland. Beijing has said its crackdown is fighting separatism and religious extremism.

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