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12 nov. 2019 | 06h50 UTC

Hong Kong: Police clash with protesters November 12 /update 154

Hong Kong, SAR China Alerte de sécurité

Demonstrations continue throughout Hong Kong on November 12, with isolated clashes between police officers and protesters reported; significant transportation disruptions ongoing

TIMEFRAME expected from 12/11/2019, 12h00 until 15/11/2019, 11h59 (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong, Central

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Event

Protesters marched through Hong Kong’s Central area until 14:00 (local time) on Tuesday, November 12, blocking roads and public transportation. Crowds gathered on Pedder Street and Connaught Road, where some individuals threw debris at police vehicles. Demonstrators had previously gathered in Kwun Tong but have largely withdrawn as of 14:30 after police officers deployed into the area. Standoffs between university students and riot police have also been reported at City University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and Polytechnic University. Classes have been canceled at 11 universities for the day. The police have fired tear gas and pepper spray in some areas in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

Significant transportation disruptions are also ongoing on Tuesday. Protesters calling for a general strike blocked some major roads in the morning and blocked access to MTR trains. MTR service remains limited as of Tuesday afternoon, with trains bypassing some stations on the East Rail Line and the Island Line. Up-to-date information on service information and station closures can be found on the MTR website.

Demonstrations are expected to take place over the coming days. A prayer meeting set to take place at Edinburgh Place from 07:00-21:00 on Wednesday, November 13. Another rally is expected to be held outside Kwai Chung Plaza at 19:00 on November 12. However, further protests may occur with little warning.

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

Tensions significantly escalated on Monday, November 12, after a police officer shot a protester in Sai Wan Ho. Later in the day a man confronting protesters was reportedly set on fire. Both individuals are in critical condition as of Tuesday.

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.

 

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