Tourists remn in rport during demonstration, with flights to resume on Tuesday

Air transport

Hong Kong ers have shut down one of the s busiest rports in a tic escalation of the that have plunged the city into its worst political crisis in decades.

The unprecedented cancellation of flights followed the fourth consecutive day of at the rport and amid increasingly threatening statements from . A Chinese sd was emerging in the city, while in authorities demonstrated cannons for use in crowd control.

The e in their 10th week, with confrontations between ers and growing more violent. groups and ivists have accused of using increasingly ecessive force. At least 40 were treated in after clashes on day, including a woman who was reportedly hit with a beanbag round and could potentiy lose an eye.

ers in black T-shirts and face masks filled the rport, handing out to riving visitors documenting eged violence and hing up graphic s of inju ers. Some held signs that sd: An eye for an eye and wore eye patches in solidity with the inju woman.

s held posters that sd: is not and Shame on and chanted: Stand with , fight for !

I just dont understand how can tolerate that kind of brutality. I feel like if I dont come out , I cant come out ever, sd Hily Lo, who took a half days sick leave from her accountancy firm to attend the demonstration.

e stting to realise the e out of control, especiy with what has hened in the past two weeks, she sd.

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tegas into station

Tourists remned at the rport through the , with flights epected to resume at 6am on Tuesday. Elodichwu Obili, from Nigeria, sd she had been stranded for five hours. We had no from our rline. We e just stranded we have no , she sd, adding that rport stores had closed.

By the evening, crowds had thinned amid reports would move in to cle the rport but when they did not show, thonds of ers streamed back, bringing supplies to stay through the night.

Honestly, I dont think anything hen, sd Andy Chu, a er who remned at the rport. I think the strategy until we can see is to burn out our energy, just let us sit and wt.

A few hours ago t were rumours flying ound, saying the e coming in to kick us out, with tegas, he sd. I think that is also from the . Thats pt of their tics, pt of the . They want most of the more peaceful ers to leave themselves.

Quick guide

What e the about?

Why e ing?

The were trigge by a controversial bill that would have owed etraditions to mnland China, w the Communist pty controls the courts, but have since evolved into a broader pro- movement.

anger fuelled by the aggressive tics used by the agnst demonstrators has collided with yes of frustration over worsening and the cost of living in one of the ’s most epensive, densely populated cities.

The movement was given fresh impetus on 21 July when gangs of men attacked ers and commuters at a transit station while authorities seemingly did little to intervene.

Underlying the movement is a push for full in the city, whose er is chosen by a committee dominated by a pro- establishment rather than by direct elections.

ers have vowed to keep their movement going until their demands e met, such as the resignation of the city’s er, rie Lam, an independent inquiry into tics, an amnesty for those rested and a permanent withdrawal of the bill.

Why were so angry about the etradition bill?

Hongkongers have seen s influence grow in recent yes, as ivists have been jled and pro- makers disqualified from running or hing office. Independent booksellers have diseed from the city, before reeing in mnland facing chges.

Under the terms of the agreement by which the former colony was returned to Chinese control in 1997, the semi-autonomous region was meant to mntn a high degree of through an independent judiciy, a free press and an open mket , a frame kn as one country, two sys.

The etradition bill was seen as an attempt to undermine this and to give the ability to try pro- ivists under the judicial sy of the mnland.

How have the authorities responded?

Lam has shown no sign of backing down beyond agreeing to suspend the etradition bill, while has issued increasingly shrill condemnations but has left it to the city’s semi-autonomous to deal with the situation. Meanwhile have violently clashed directly with ers, repeatedly firing tegas and rubber bullets.

has ramped up its acctions that foreign e fanning the of unrest in the city. s top diplomat Yang Jiechi has orde the US to imtely stop interfering in affrs in any form.

Lily Kuo and Verna Yu in

s of dissent has presented one of the biggest chenges to s er, i Jinping, since he came to power in 2012. Yang Guang, a for the and Macao Affrs Office of the State Council ced on authorities to show no mercy in dealing with the ers.

s radical demonstrators have repeatedly used etremely ous to attack s, which already constitutes a violent , and also shows the signs of emerging, Yang sd at a press briefing. This wantonly tramples on s rule of and order.

State-backed in on Monday sd med had held eercises in the neighbouring city of Shenzhen.

In an ent wning to ers of a toughening roach on the pt of authorities, invited legislators and journa on Monday to witness a of cannon. have never used the since two were bought after pro- in 2014, but during Mondays demonstration one was blasted at dummy tgets in a ting facility.

Man-Kei Tam, the director of Amnesty Internationals di, wned that clashes between ers and had escalated to an level, especiy on the over the weekend.

An
An anti-riot vehicle equipped with water cannon sprays water on a dummy during a demonstration in Hong Kong on Monday. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP

Tam cited footage of police firing teargas into a subway station in Kwai Fong on Sunday night. It was not clear how many protesters were in the station but it was rare for officers to fire teargas indoors. He also shared a video of police firing non-lethal projectiles at close range as protesters attempted to flee down an escalator at another subway station.

The police have also reported injuries among their ranks, including eye irritation from laser pointers and petrol bomb burns.

Civil Rights Observer, a local rights group that sends observers to protests, said it had serious concerns about police violence and had seen clear evidence to show the police are violating their guidelines, according to its spokesman, Icarus Wong Ho-yin.

During the protests at the weekend, the Hong Kong Free Press news website posted footage of one arrest that appeared to show officers dressed as protesters pressing a demonstrator to the ground. The young man, who said his name was Chow Ka-lok and asked for a lawyer, sustained head wounds and a broken tooth.

Protests in Hong Kong began in early June against a legislative bill that would have allowed for residents to stand trial in mainland China on criminal charges. While the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997, it was promised semi-autonomy for 50 years including a separate legal system. Many protesters feared the bill, now suspended, would have led to the decline of civil and political rights in the Asian financial hub.



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