All flights out of Hong Kong cancelled as pro-democracy protesters besiege airport

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 13 August 2019, 05:08 PM
Thousands of protesters besieged the Hong Kong International Airport. (Photo: Twitter/HongKongFP)
Thousands of protesters besieged the Hong Kong International Airport. (Photo: Twitter/HongKongFP)

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which started with a proposed Extradition Law, have taken the city under seize. Hong Kong airport on Tuesday cancelled all departures as protesters block the facility on the second day of anti-police violence sit-in. Thousands of protesters besieged the Hong Kong International Airport, forcing authorities to cancle all the flights out of Hong Kong. The protesters conducted a peaceful mass sit-in at the airport condemning alleged police brutality.

The Hong Kong police have stepped up crackdown against protesters and resorted to fire tear gas shell and shoot projectiles at close range. The alleged police brutalities took place on Sunday, when anti-riots police fired tear gas inside Kwai Fong MTR station and shot protesters at close range at Tai Koo MTR station.

In a decoy operation, some officers were disguised as protesters, as one protester had her right eye ruptured, apparently caused by a bean bag round fired by police in Tsim Sha Tsui, according to Hong Kong Free Press. During the sit-ins, two protesters displayed videos purportedly showing police violence while handing out MTR metro maps of incidents of alleged misconduct to travellers.

Protesters holding signs have formed a barrier using trollies to prevent travellers from boarding their flights in Terminal 1.

However, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has defended police action, saying that policemen have to make on-the-spot judgment of what will be the best interest and the safety of people. She also defended the decoy by policemen, saying that the operation was "a special case in order to arrest core extreme protesters.”

"The police have their code of practice to follow. The police have their rigid and stringent guidelines in the use of appropriate force, and that requires the lowest level of force in dealing with those situations," she said.

Meanwhile, China described the unprecedented pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong as a sign of “terrorism emerging”. The protests, going on for weeks, have posed the biggest challenge to Chinese rule since the territory’s handover in 1997. Chinese state media Global Times published a video of armoured personnel carriers purportedly driving towards a city bordering the territory.

"Hong Kong’s radical demonstrators have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers, which already constitutes a serious violent crime, and also shows the first signs of terrorism emerging," said Yang Guang, spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.

First Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 05:00 PM
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