About 1,000 students defied a ban on masks in an anti-government protest organised during a graduation ceremony at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on Thursday.

The ban on masks was imposed by the government last month in a bid to curb unrest that has rocked the city for more than five months, hammered its economy, which is sliding into recession, and hit particularly hard the retail and tourism sectors with tourists numbers plummeting.

Dressed in formal graduation gowns, many of the students chanted as they walked from a metro station to the ceremony venue, calling for the government to respond to protesters’ demands that include universal suffrage, with some holding up banners urging “Free Hong Kong, Revolution Now”.

The protests erupted over a now-scrapped extradition bill that

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