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20 Jan 2020 | 11:47 PM UTC

Hong Kong: Commemorative rallies planned at Yuen Long MTR station January 21 /update 188

Activists plan rallies to commemorate the violent attack on protesters at the Yuen Long MTR station on January 21; heightened security presence and localized disruptions expected

security
transportation
HKG

Event

Multiple rallies are being organized to take place on the evening (local time) of Tuesday, January 21, to mark the six-month anniversary of the attacks targeting pro-democracy demonstrators at the Yuen Long MTR station. Supporters are being asked to gather at the Heng Fa Chuen MTR station from 19:00 until 22:00, as well as at the Yuen Long MTR station and YOHO Mall starting at 20:00. Hong Kong’s metro rail operator, the MTR Corporation, announced that it will close the Yuen Long station from 15:00 as a safety precaution. Up-to-date information on metro service can be found on the MTR website here.

Further rallies are expected to take place starting at 14:00 on Thursday, January 23, in Carpenter Road Park.

A heightened security presence along with localized transportation and business disruptions are anticipated near all demonstration sites. Further protests may be organized with little warning over the near term. Clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out.

Context

On July 21, 2019, a large group of unidentified men armed with pipes and other objects beat passengers and people assumed to be protesters in the Yuen Long station. At least 45 people were hospitalized, with some activists accusing the police of being complicit in the attack.

Demonstrations have been held throughout Hong Kong since June 2019 to protest a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. While the bill was withdrawn on September 4, mass protests continue to be organized to demand government reforms and police accountability over violence since the start of the demonstrations. Pro-democracy candidates won 389 of the 452 seats in the territory's district council elections on November 24. The pro-democracy movement victory and the high turnout (71 percent) of the vote suggest that the public continues to support protests.

Advice

Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business around protest sites, confirm the status of their flights prior to departure for the airport, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

Individuals are also advised to avoid wearing black and white colors around protest zones or rallies as they are associated with protesters.