Last updated: 15 Aug, 12.09pm SGT
The pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong have been holding protests to seek explanations from the government over several issues. The protests have escalated since the government proposed the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill. The legislation bill was proposed by the Security Bureau on February 2019, after the Chan Tong-kai murder case which occurred in Taiwan the previous year. The Hong Kong government cited the case to propose the aforementioned legislation that would allow the city to transfer criminal suspects to Taiwan and other places with which it lacks an extradition treaty — including China.
In response, the pro-democracy protesters protested against it and have gathered support from various groups and other local citizens. The sentiments of the protest have since evolved into a fight for revolutionary demands, including the resignation of the country’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam, with less focus on the now-suspended extradition bill. What began as a peaceful protest had morphed into a disorderly and violent situation. Frequent clashes occurred between the protestors and Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) Officers. Besides, unknown groups have launched violent attacks against the protestors, causing severe injuries.
Situation and Threats on 13 Aug
On 1630hrs, 13 August 2019, the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has, for the second time, cancelled all departing flights from Hong Kong. The day before, on 12 August 2019, many flights were also cancelled due to the protest. More than 300 flights had to be rescheduled to today. The protest in the airport was believed to be triggered by the injury of a female protestor by the tear gas shot by the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) at Tsim Sha Tsui on 9 August 2019.
Authorities have warned that the protestants at the airport may once again cause intermittent disruption to the airport’s operations and flight schedules. The HKPF have stepped up on security and increased manpower deployment in the airport as an attempt to disperse the protesters.
The tensions remain high and further clashes are expected to occur between the police officers and protesters, both in and out of the airport. Protestors have been seen vandalising police stations and using self-made petrol bombs to attack the HKPF. In return, several protestors have suffered injuries caused by the HKPF’s firing of tear gas, rubber bullets and sponge grenades.
The HKIA has issued a notice stating, “Due to high passenger traffic in the airport, the hourly parking spaces of Car Park 1 & 4 are fully occupied”. As such, many members of the public have taken to parking at the long-term parking spaces for authorised private cars. As such, travellers are advised to take the public transport airport. Kindly visit the Hong Kong International Airport website for the latest updates on the cark park details.
Travellers are advised to refrain from travelling to Hong Kong, to safeguard their safety. Should there be an urgent need to travel to Hong Kong, travellers should reconfirm the departure status of their flights, as well as pre-arranged transportation services, accommodation and meeting venues to avoid last-minute cancellations and delays. Travellers should expect heightened security checks at the MTR stations, especially at the following: Lai King, Kowloon Tong and North Point stations.
Both business and leisure travellers are advised to follow news and stay abreast to the current situations in Hong Kong. If possible, travellers should plan for alternative travelling routes. Orders from the HKPF take precedence and both locals and non-locals (travellers) in Hong Kong are expected to adhere to their instructions.
The current key protest locations are The Admiralty, Causeway Bay, Central, Wan Chai Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kwai Chung, Tin Shui Wai and Yuen Long. The other popular protest locations include the police stations, the Legislative Council (LegCo) complex, the Central Government Complex, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government, and the Chater Garden.
- Security & Risk Solutions (SRS) advices travellers to defer their non-essential travelling plans (such as a vacation) to Hong Kong.
- Business travellers are advised to inform their company on their itinerary and other travel information such as transportation, accommodations, and meeting venues.
- Travellers travelling to Hong Kong (especially those departing from China to Hong Kong) are strongly advised against having any photos or videos of the ongoing protests. This is to prevent inconvenience at the immigration checkpoints should the officers decide to check on travellers’ phone for such materials.
- Travellers are recommended to avoid selecting accommodations within close proximity to popular protest locations such as Police stations and Government buildings
- Business travellers could seek for personal protection services such as Executive Protection Services from security agencies such as SRS.
- All travellers in Hong Kong are advised against travelling to or visiting the past and present protest locations, especially YUEN LONG.
- Travellers should refrain from wearing black, white and blue shirts to avoid association with any of the protest/violent groups.
- Travellers are advised not to bring or purchase any lasers or objects with the China national emblems.
- Travellers who are planning to travel to Hong Kong are advised not to discuss nor engage in conversations about the current political situation with any locals or strangers.
- Kindly carry along photo identification (passport/national identity card) at all time and comply with the law enforcement checks. Avoid getting into an argument with the enforcement officers, such as the Police Force.
- SRS strong advises travellers who are caught in any ongoing or planned protests to quickly evacuate to another safer location.
- Do stay updated with the current situation by monitoring the local news and pay attention to the airport notices.
Services by Security & Risk Solutions
Security & Risk Solutions (SRS) has a strong presence in Hong Kong and have been providing quality and reliable security-related services. Should any traveller be caught up in a security or emergency, SRS can activate a recovery mission, subject to the crisis. Given the current situation, SRS has the resource to activate Close Protection Officer, Vehicle Support and Extraction Services to secure any principal in emergency need.
If you’re in an EMERGENCY, please call our 24/7 Hotline:
SRS Global Security Operations Center
Hotline: +65-6852 9990
Mobile: +65 9625 7581
Situation and Threats on 7 Aug
Videos of the protestors using slingshots and bricks to damage the window glass shields could be seen circulating on social media. Some unknown white-shirt group have been repeatedly attacking the protestors, with the latest 5 August assault where they attacked the protestors with wooden rods and swords. Another unknown group, characterised by their blue-shirts, also were seen attacking the pro-democracy protestors. The pro-democracy protestors have since retaliated and the situation is highly violent.
The Hong Kong Police Force has stepped up on its efforts to watch out and arrest violent protestors and other suspects. As a result of which, some Police Officers have reportedly arrested some foreigners for mistaken identity; normal civilians who happened to be wearing black shirts were mistaken as members of the pro-democracy protestors. The Police has also begun random checks on bystander or suspects to ensure that those found in possession of destructive weapons would be arrested. The tension between the Police Force and protesters continues to escalate. As such, those travelling to Hong Kong should practice personal caution against physical attacks and be prepared to cooperate with the mandatory checks by the Police Force.