Sunday, September 27, 2020

Hong Kong airport on alert ahead of fresh wave of protests

Aug 09. 2019
Black-clad protesters against the extradition bill hand out leaflets to arrival passengers at Hong Kong International Airport on July 26, 2019. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)
Black-clad protesters against the extradition bill hand out leaflets to arrival passengers at Hong Kong International Airport on July 26, 2019. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)
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By China Daily Hong Kong
Asia News Network

HONG KONG — Hong Kong's Airport Authority said on Friday only departing passengers with travel documents will be allowed to enter the terminal as anti-government activists gear up for a three-day rally to raise awareness among tourists entering the city.

The move comes as officials confirmed on Friday that a police commander who oversaw operations during the illegal “Occupy Central” protests in 2014 and the Mong Kok riot in 2016 that roiled the Special Administrative Region (SAR) has been recalled to help deal with protests that have plunged the financial hub into crisis.

Former deputy police commissioner Alan Lau Yip-shing has been appointed to help handle large-scale public order events and steer operations, including activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct 1, the HKSAR government said in a statement. 

Lau joined the police as inspector in 1984 and was promoted to senior assistant commissioner in 2013. Between 2000 and 2003, he was seconded to the Airport Authority to oversee aviation security services.

Hong Kong, which returned to the motherland in 1997, is embroiled in its worst political crisis for decades after two months of increasingly violent protests. 

The escalating cycle of violence has prompted travel warnings from countries including the United States and Australia. 

Activists plan to converge on the airport on Friday afternoon, with more protests planned across the city at the weekend. 

"To maintain the smooth process of the departure procedures of passengers and the terminal operation, only departure passengers with an air ticket or boarding pass for the next 24 hours and a valid travel document, or airport staff with identity proofs will be allowed to enter to the check-in aisles at Terminal 1," the Airport Authority said in a statement. 

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