News Alerts

26 Sep 2019 | 08:03 AM UTC

Hong Kong: Heavy security presence reported around Queen Elizabeth Stadium September 26 /update 99

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Heavy security deployed around Queen Elizabeth Stadium; protests possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/26/2019, 12:00 AM until 9/28/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong

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Event

Online sources have reported a heightened security presence, including riot police carrying pepper spray and shields, around the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai (Hong Kong Island) as of approximately 14:30 (local time) on Thursday, September 26. This comes as Chief Executive Carrie Lam is due to hold the first community dialogue between 19:00 and 21:00. Officials have reportedly closed schools and a nearby car park, and police officers are reportedly patrolling the area. Protests are possible, and clashes between security forces and demonstrators cannot be ruled out. 

Activists have called for several protests between Saturday, September 28, through Sunday, September 29, ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Umbrella Revolution on Saturday, September 28, and National Day on Tuesday, October 1. On Saturday, activists have called for another stress test at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) at 13:00. The Civil Human Rights Front has also organized a protest on Saturday to commemorate the Umbrella Revolution in Tamar Park in Admiralty at 19:00. On Sunday, individuals plan to gather at Sogo in Causeway Bay at 14:30 and then march to Central Government Offices.

Similar protests, and clashes between demonstrators and security forces, are to be expected over the coming weeks. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected in Hong Kong during periods of protest activity.

Context

On September 4, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. The bill sparked mass protests up to 2 million people throughout Hong Kong since June 9. However, protest actions have continued since the government's announcement, as protesters' demands evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement, calling for government reforms and police accountability over violence.

Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.

Advice

Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, budget additional time to reach Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

 

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