Ugly scenes as ‘Chinese nationalists’ clash with Hong Kong human rights protestors in the stands as Australia take on China in basketball match in Melbourne
- Hong Kong human rights protesters and Chinese nationals clash in Melbourne
- The protesters began shouting during a China v Australia FIBA basketball match
- Police officers removed about seven of those involved from the stadium
- The Boomers won the match 76-69 and are 4-0 up in their World Cup qualifiers
Crowds were left shocked at the chaotic display during the FIBA World Cup qualifier on Thursday night at John Cain Arena in Melbourne.
Activist Max Mok alleges he was ‘assaulted’ after he began shouting ‘free East Turkestan’ and ‘Hong Kong independence’.
Footage shows him yelling and holding a poster before he is pushed by a larger man as his girlfriend tries to hold him back.
Activist Max Mok holds a poster demanding the release of Uyghur political prisoner Mirzat Taher in the stands during the Australia versus China World Cup qualifier (pictured)
Mr Mok’s poster was demanding the release of Mirzat Taher, an Uyghur political prisoner held in China.
Another protester brandishes a Tibetan flag – used since the 1960s as a symbol of the Tibetan independence movement.
The flag in banned in mainland China because the communist superpower claims Tibet as its territory, therefore says the flag of the People’s Republic of China should represent it.
Security at John Cain Arena were forced intervene to break up the confrontation on Thursday night and then called in police to assist them.
Victoria Police played down the clash and said the group of protesters was small.
‘Police were pleased with the overall crowd behaviour, however, seven spectators were ejected for breaching the conditions of entry during the game,’ a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘There was no physical violence or any injuries related to these incidents.’
One protester holds up the flag of Tibet as part of the protest sparking the rage of nearby audience members (pictured)
The Boomers won the game 76-69, narrowly holding off a charge by the Chinese team late in the third quarter.
A corner three-pointer from Jack White with 33 seconds left put Australia up by seven, clinching the win for the green and gold.
Australia is now 4-0 ahead in their World Cup qualification run and is safely into the next round, though will still want wins against Japan on Friday and China again on Sunday to make the draw as friendly as possible.
Security were forced to intervene to break up the clash and then called in police to assist (pictured)