Protests were reported in Hong Kong on Friday, October 12, after officials announced that a prominent candidate advocating for Hong Kong self-determination would not be permitted to run in the upcoming November by-election. According to local sources, protesters gathered in front of the Legislative Council and other government buildings on Friday evening (local time) to demand that Lau Siu-lai be permitted to run. Further demonstrations cannot be ruled out. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be anticipated in the vicinity of any demonstration.
Lau Siu-lai had previously been disqualified from holding office in 2016 for taking "improper oaths," a term commonly attributed to advocacy of self-determination. Hong Kong independence activists have increasingly been advocating for independence from China since large-scale demonstrations in 2014 failed to materialize into reforms.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to avoid all protest events as a precaution.
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