Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters have marched through central London, urging the UK Government to act over its “historic, moral and legal” responsibility over Hong Kong.

Rallies were held in 48 cities across 17 countries on Saturday in solidarity with demonstrators in the former British colony.

Protesters have been targeting Chinese banks and businesses perceived to be linked to mainland China, who they accuse of infringing freedoms guaranteed when Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.

Saturday’s protests marked the 22nd straight weekend of unrest in Hong Kong amid violent clashes between police and protesters.

More than 3,000 people have now been arrested.

Sympathetic supporters, organised by the Democracy for Hong Kong and Fight for Freedom Stand with Hong Kong groups, congregated at London’s Marble Arch and marched to Trafalgar Square in solidarity against alleged “police brutality”.

Hong Kong Democracy Protest Trafalgar Square London
Crowds of people marched from Marble Arch to Trafalgar Square (Yui Mok/PA)

Shu Yan Chan, of Democracy for Hong Kong, said: “In solidarity with the people in Hong Kong, this movement started in June with just one demand – to withdraw the extradition bill. The intention of that is the Hong Kong government want the power to extradite people back to China.

“Because China have a different legal system people are worried they are not going to get a fair trial.

“The way the government has handled the protesters has been very brutal, and there is no accountability for the police.

“They have accused protesters of being rioters, which carries harsher prison sentences if convicted.”

The group is demanding amnesty for protesters who have been arrested, an independent inquiry into police actions and universal suffrage.

A spokesman for Fight for Freedom Stand with Hong Kong said: “The UK has an historic, moral and legal responsibility to hold China to account.

“We are hoping the British Government act because this should be a cross-party political issue.”