HK govt, MTR, Airport authorities condemn continuous violent protests
Global Times


An air crew staff member passes through a barrier set up by radical protesters at Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday. Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters attempted to block transport routes to the city's airport as the financial hub began cleaning up after another night of serious violence marked by fires, smoke and garbage. (Photo: AFP)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, the MTR Corporation and the Hong Kong airport authority have condemned the continuous vandalism at MTR stations and airport, saying that these acts have endangered the safety of local residents and challenged the bottom line of "one country, two systems" principle.

The HKSAR government spokesperson condemned rioters and their illegal actions, saying that the rioters showed complete disregard for the needs of tourists and the public, and even resorted to violent threats and malicious retaliation against people with different opinions.

The spokesperson said that some radical protesters beat up residents and took down and burned the Chinese national flag, challenging the authority of the country and the bottom line of "one country, two systems" principle.

MTR also strongly condemned the continuous vandalism at MTR stations in a statement, saying these acts have endangered the safety of staff and passengers, as well as station and train operations. The MTR Corporation has reported the cases to the police.

Hong Kong airport authority condemned the radical protesters for blocking entrances, disrupting passengers' travels and damaging airport facilities. The airport management office has repeatedly warned the protesters against the temporary injunction and has cooperated with the police in dispersing the protesters. The office said it will cooperate with the police in following up Sunday's incident.

Radical protesters in Hong Kong gathered again on Sunday despite a court injunction at the Hong Kong International Airport, seriously disturbing the public order and obstructing transport services. 

A large number of rioters left the airport about 6 pm and went to the Tung Chung MTR station,  where they broke a fire hydrant, causing water to gush into the station, according to a video clip Hong Kong Satellite Television released. 

Police began trying to clear them out about 6:30 pm. The Global Times reporters saw black-clad rioters, now adopting "catch-and-run" strategies, appeared well-informed about when and where police would next arrive on the ground. 

Information on police movements circulated on the Telegram app and prompted some to change out of their black shirts, helmets and goggles, thus making it difficult for the police to separate a protester from an ordinary passer-by. 

And when the police enforced the law, the rioters shouted assaulting words like "gangster police" "fight against police brutality", playing a fake scenario about ordinary Hongkongers hate police for their excessive use of force.

Hong Kong police said at Sunday's press conference that they arrested 63 protesters, aged between 13 and 36, at Mong Kok and Prince Edward MTR stations on Saturday and confiscated explosives and weapons from some of those arrested for illegal assembly.

Acting Senior Superintendent Tsui Suk-yee of Kowloon West Regional told media that Hong Kong police strongly condemned criminal actions and may seek authorities to prosecute some of the arrested after receiving relevant legal advice.

Tsui said that 54 of the 63 protesters were male Chinese and nine were female Chinese. Two Molotov cocktails and two lighters were found in the personal belongings of a 13-year-old protester. Police have found Molotov cocktails, gas masks, laser guns, slingshots, steel balls, helmets and umbrellas, Tsui said

Protesters started assembling around bus stops at the airport terminal around 1 pm Sunday. At around 2 pm, protesters blocked roads with trolleys and other barriers, charged at water-filled barriers, pointed lasers and hurled objects at police and airport authority workers.

Global Times reporters spotted a serious traffic jam at the Tsing Ma bridge which links Hong Kong Island and the airport. They noticed that en route to the airport, some drivers intentionally slowed to disrupt public transport. 

A taxi driver told the Global Times that such drivers were supporters of the violent protests and their moves were intentional. 

The protesters launched an illegal campaign they called "testing transport system of Hong Kong airport." 

Passengers and air crew members had to get out of their cars and walk to the airport as protesters  brought traffic to a standstill. 

Hong Kong police said a large number of protesters threw iron sticks, bricks and stones at the railway track near the airport station from 4 pm, and some people broke onto the track of the Airport Express line, seriously obstructing train services. 

Car Park 1 of Hong Kong International Airport closed Sunday as radicals called on residents to clog travel routes to the airport and stage protests. Trains to the airport were suspended. Hong Kong police said the protesters were participating in an illegal assembly and since an injunction was still in force, the protesters are liable to be charged with contempt of court.

After days of disturbances and violence by unlawful assemblies at the airport, the Airport Authority Hong Kong obtained on August 14 an interim injunction from the court to restrain persons from unlawfully and willfully obstructing or interfering with the proper use of Hong Kong International Airport.

"What these people are doing have shown to the world what the so-called democracy and freedom are like! They have no thinking, and it is worse than taking drugs," the taxi driver said. The driver told the Global Times reporters his income had dropped 30 percent during the last two months of radical protests.

Reports came in about 5 pm Sunday that some protesters had set fire to a national flag in Tung Chung. A person who desecrates the Chinese national flag by publicly and willfully burning it commits an offense and is liable to a fine and imprisonment for three years, according to the city's National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance.

 The incidents on Sunday came after radical protesters organized illegal rallies Saturday blocking traffic, throwing Molotov cocktails and bricks at police and damaging public property including the city government complex.

Hong Kong police said Sunday morning that they were confident and capable of taking illegal personnel into custody, urging peaceful and rational residents to draw a clear line against violence so as to return Hong Kong onto the right track.

The police arrested three people in a hotel room in Causeway Bay on Saturday, seizing equipment including helmets, body armor and gas masks. Eight people in Western District were also captured, with the police saying Sunday they had uncovered "a large number of fake press cards, paint, axes and electronic baseball launchers."