Hong Kong airport reopens after court issues order to remove protesters

The Hong Kong airport reopened on Wednesday after fierce clashes overnight. The shuffle injured several people, resulting in most of the protesters and police eventually clearing the terminal allowing the airport to function normally on Wednesday.

However, the turmoil may be far from over after aviation authorities obtained a court order to remove protesters from the terminal which could possibly result in another showdown later in the day.

The interim injunction obtained restrains people from “unlawfully and wilfully obstructing” operations.

“Persons are also restrained from attending or participating in any demonstration or protest or public order event in the airport other than in the area designated by the airport authority,” it said.

It remains unclear if the order was implemented or not as a few protesters did accumulate at the airport on Wednesday.

The two days of demonstrations on Monday and Tuesday have caused mass flight cancellations and triggered clashes between demonstrators and police. The unrest at the airport started on Tuesday afternoon, when aviation authorities cancelled hundreds of flights for the second day in a row.

Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators had returned to the terminal, to express their outrage over what they call is increasing police brutality.

But some demonstrators were also accused of taking the law into their own hands as they detained a man they suspected as an undercover officer from mainland China, and another man identified as a journalist for a state-owned Chinese media.

Police responded by making arrests and firing pepper spray at the protesters. One police officer was captured on video drawing his gun at protesters after they attacked him for trying to detain an unarmed woman and pinning her on the ground. Other officers were also seen beating the protesters.

On Wednesday, China’s main authority in Hong Kong and Macao denounced the protesters for “terrorist-like” acts.

“We express the strongest condemnation of these terrorist-like actions,” said Xu Luying, spokeswoman at the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs of the State Council, who called the two men “mainland China compatriots.”

Xu said the “extremely abominable violent crime must be severely punished according to the law”.

The two days of mass flight cancellations at one of the world’s busiest airports have further raised the stakes for the financial hub. Beijing was sending security forces across the border.

US President Donald Trump called for calm, and said that his intelligence had confirmed Chinese troop movements towards the Hong Kong border.

Source : Various