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Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is condemning violence in Hong Kong as tension escalates between pro-democracy protesters and police.

She made the remarks in a joint statement issued Saturday with her counterpart in the European Union, Federica Mogherini.

The statement says that both Canada and the EU support Hong Kong’s “high degree of autonomy” within China, as well as its residents’ right to peaceful assembly.

But they are urging restraint in the wake of “a rising number of unacceptable violent incidents.”

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region as some residents accuse the Communist Party-ruled Chinese government of chipping away at Hong Kong’s democratic rights. 

The statement from Freeland and Mogherini calls for “broad-based and inclusive dialogue, involving all key stakeholders.”

The Canadian Press