Published on Friday, August 9, 2019

Protestors stage weekend-long sit-in at Hong Kong airport

Pro-democracy activists have begun a weekend-long sit-in at Hong Kong airport as they continue their protests against 'eroded freedoms' in the former British colony.

The activists are waving banners in different languages, with wording such as: "Ask me about Hong Kong" and "Save Hong Kong from tyranny and police brutality". They say they want to raise awareness among international visitors about their concerns.

Protestors say freedoms at the former British colony are being eroded. They want an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality during the protests, complete withdrawal of the expedition bill and the resignation on Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam.

They have promised the protests will be peaceful 'as long as the police do not show up', Reuters reports.

The three-day protest was promoted online with a mock boarding pass reading 'HK to freedom'.

Protestors dressed in black, many wearing face masks and helmets, are sitting down in the arrival and departure halls.

Only departing passengers with tickets or boarding passes and valid documents are being allowed to enter the check-in area at Terminal 1 until Sunday night. Security has been stepped to assist passengers and staff, the airport said.

Extra ID checks are in place and airlines are advising passengers to arrive earlier than usual for check-in

Tourist arrivals dropped 26% at the end of July compared to last year and are continuing to fall, according to Hong Kong government statistics. 

The Hong Kong government said the city stands 'ready to welcome and assist visitors to Hong Kong any time'.

Despite the activists promising peaceful protests, the UK Foreign Office describes previous protests as involving 'significant violence'.

The FCO has updated its advice to say: "There is a planned protest at Hong Kong Airport. It is planned to begin at 1pm on 9 August, and continue throughout the weekend. Up to date information can be found here. The airport authorities advise that passengers should leave sufficient time for travelling to the airport, and check their flight status on the Hong Kong International Airport website.

The FCO adds other planned protests are set to take place this weekend, at Wong Tai Sin and Tai Po on Saturday August 10 and Sham Sui Po and Hong Kong Island East on Sunday August 11.

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