News Alerts

14 Oct 2019 | 04:07 PM UTC

Hong Kong: Severe transportation disruptions amid mass rally October 14 /update 126

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Severe transportation disruptions as around 130,000 protesters gather in Central October 14; heightened security presence and transportation disruptions expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/14/2019, 12:00 AM until 10/18/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong

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Event

Around 130,000 protesters gathered in Charter Garden (Central) at 19:00 (local time) on Monday, October 14, blocking all neighbouring roads for the first legal protest since the introduction of colonial-era emergency laws on Friday, October 4. Protesters are asking for the United States to pass the Hong Kong Human Right and Democracy Act, which would allow the US to perform an annual assessment of the city autonomy from mainland China. A heightened security presence has been reported along with severe traffic disruptions across Central and Admiralty.

All services on the Airport Express line and the Tung Chung line have reportedly been suspended until further notice around 22:30 following a blockage at the Central station.  This comes as the MTR corporation announced at 05:00 on Monday that all MTR lines, Light Rail, and MTR buses will cease service after 22:00, and Airport Express trains will only run between the airport and Hong Kong stations, due to ongoing repair works.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam is due to deliver her annual Policy Address on Wednesday, October 16. Further demonstrations are likely ahead of the Policy Address and may occur with little notice. On Friday, October 18, activists have also called for masked human chain protests across 18 districts starting at 20:00, but did not immediately announce further details. Clashes between protesters and security forces are possible. A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected during all 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 of 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.

Individuals are also advised to avoid wearing black and white colors around protest zones or rallies as they are associated with protesters.

 

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