Employee of Britain's Hong Kong mission held in China released

Cheryl Sanders
August 24, 2019

On social networking sites, activists called for blocking the streets to the worldwide airport in an attempt to disrupt operations as they did last week.

Disney has become caught up in the fray after Crystal Liu Yifei, the star of its upcoming live-action "Mulan" film, expressed support for the Hong Kong police, who have been accused by bodies such as the U.N. Human Rights office of violating worldwide norms in their use of force against the demonstrators.

They also threw objects at police near a police station.

One group of protesters built barriers across a street near the police station. Others had set up roadblocks with bamboo scaffolding. Government leaders have made no further concessions, beyond shelving the bill and launching a fact-finding study by the Independent Police Complaints Council. Station shops were closed.

The protests started against a bill that would have allowed extradition to China, but have transformed into a wider rejection of Beijing's increasingly tight grip on the semi-autonomous city and a defence of its unique freedoms.

"Fight for freedom, save Hong Kong", thousands of demonstrators shouted as they marched along a police-authorized route toward Kowloon Bay.

China's foreign ministry confirmed Wednesday that an employee of the U.K. Consulate, Simon Cheng, had been detained in Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong.

Cheng was released Saturday as the term had expired, the police said, adding he had "confessed to the facts of his illegal activity", but without saying what he was accused of.

Google announced the action Thursday, three days after Facebook and Twitter said they had removed accounts identified as linked to China-backed disinformation campaigns on their platforms aiming to discredit Hong Kong protesters.

"Thank you for all your concern for Simon, he has returned to Hong Kong safely and is in the company of Consulate staff and friends", the translation of a statement posted to a Facebook page that appeared to be run by his family read. "We have to be very concerned", organizer Ventus Lau said ahead of the procession.

The rail shutdown by the MTR Corporation comes after it was criticized in Chinese state media, including the People's Daily, the Communist Party mouthpiece, for allowing "rioters" to get away on trains after clashes with police.

"I've never seen Hong Kong in such a situation", 65-year-old Dee Cheung told AFP earlier, before explaining why he joined the protests.

"It's unreasonable that they stop the MTR service ahead of the protest", said Louis Wong, a protester in the area. Last Sunday, organizers said 1.7 million people took to the streets.

"With this we are showing people all over the world the high quality of Hongkongers", said another protester.

There is no sign of a let-up nearly three months after the anti-government demonstrations began.

On Friday night, thousands of protesters chanted slogans and formed human chains around the city in a peaceful protest dubbed the "Hong Kong Way".

Almost every major development on the protesters is covered every day as the world is now starting to pay closer attention to a situation that, at best, will hopefully end peacefully, or at worst, one that is causing many to echo what happened at Tiananmen Square, where a pro-democracy protest was put down by the Chinese government using extreme military force that resulted in up to several thousands of deaths.

Other reports by iNewsToday