News Alerts

13 Nov 2019 | 10:40 AM UTC

Hong Kong: Protesters block central Hong Kong November 13 /update 155

Hong Kong, SAR China News Alert

Thousands of protesters paralyze Hong Kong’s CBD as tension escalates November 13; significant transportation disruptions and clashes between demonstrators and security forces reported in multiple areas

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/13/2019, 12:00 AM until 11/16/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong, Central

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Event

As of Wednesday, November 13, thousands of protesters gathered at the junction between Pedder Street and Des Voeux Road in the Central Business District (CBD) around 13:00 (local time), causing significant transport disruptions for the third day in a row. Tear gas was reportedly fired at around 14:30 in several locations and clashes between riot police and protesters have been reported. Further demonstrations are expected through the day across Central, Kowloon, and New Territory.

Significant transportation disruptions have been reported in multiple areas as small groups of protesters block roads with debris. All road surrounding the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) remain closed.

MTR service disruptions are also ongoing as the Tsuen Wan line has been suspended on Wednesday and several stations have been closed as a precaution, including the University, Tai Po Market, Tai Wo, Fanling, Sheung Shui, Lok Ma Chau, and Lo Wu stations on the East line. All light rails and MTR buses will stop running at 22:00 and 24 KMB bus routes have been suspended. Shuttle buses between affected stations are operating depending on road conditions. Further MTR service adjustments or closures are possible throughout Wednesday if the situation escalates. Up-to-date information on service information and station closures can be found on the MTR website.

Significant business disruptions are to be expected in the affected areas, and school have been asked to remain closed for safety reasons on Thursday, November 14.

Further protests may occur with little warning and a heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the political situation in the city fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected during all periods of protest activity. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.

Context

A standoff between barricaded students and riot police at the City University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and Polytechnic University have been reported, as well as violent clashes between police and protesters in other parts of the city on November 12. Tension significantly escaladed across the territory on November 11, after a police officer shot a protester in Sai Wan Ho on November 11. Later in the day a man confronting protesters was reportedly set on fire.

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 disruptions to transportation and business around protest sites, 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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