Flights Resume At Hong Kong Airport After Protest Shutdown
Sumaira FH 11 days ago Tue 13th August 2019 | 08:50 AM
Hong Kong, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 13th Aug, 2019 ) :Hong Kong airport re-opened on Tuesday after a rally by thousands of pro-democracy protesters triggered an unprecedented shutdown, but hundreds of flights were still listed as cancelled.
The abrupt closure marked a new low in a 10-week crisis that has seen millions of people take to Hong Kong's streets in the biggest challenge to Chinese rule of the semi-autonomous city since its 1997 handover from Britain.
The protests on Monday were driven by anger over alleged police brutality, with demonstrators claiming one woman had lost an eye at a weekend rally and video showing tear gas being used against them in a subway station.
Early Tuesday, passengers with luggage were being checked in at the departures hall and information boards showed several flights were boarding or about to depart.
Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's flagship airline, listed more than 200 flights as still being cancelled on Tuesday morning.
- 'An eye for an eye' - On Tuesday morning, only a handful of protesters remained in the airport.
Nor was it clear whether authorities would allow them to protest.
Many of the posters and artwork the protesters had hung throughout the airport on Monday had been taken down, but graffiti -- some reading "an eye for an eye" -- could still be seen in several places.
The demonstrators have accused police of causing the injury by firing a bean-bag round, and cite the case as evidence of what they say has been an excessive and disproportionate response by police to their protests.
The protests began in opposition to a bill that would have allowed extraditions to the mainland, but quickly evolved into a broader bid to reverse a slide of rights and freedoms in the southern Chinese city.
Hong Kong's Beijing-backed leader, Carrie Lam, suspended plans for the extradition bill.
But Lam has consistently ruled out meeting any of the protesters' other demands, which include the right to choose their next leader and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality.
"It is becoming more and more dangerous, but if we don't still come out at this point, our future will become more frightening, and we will lose our freedoms," a 22-year-old protester at the airport told AFP on Monday.
"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.
"This wantonly tramples on Hong Kong's rule of law and social order."