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29 Feb 2020 | 01:00 PM UTC

Hong Kong: Police fire tear gas as hundreds of anti-government demonstrators protest February 29 /update 190

Hundreds of anti-government demonstrators protest in Hong Kong on February 29, marking six months since police raided subway, as police fire tear gas; similar demonstrations possible over near term

security
transportation
HKG

Event

Hundreds of anti-government demonstrators protested in Hong Kong on Saturday, February 29, marking six months since security forces raided a subway in the special administrative region and arrested demonstrators. Notably, police fired tear gas at protesters hurling Molotov cocktails around Mong Kok district and Prince Edward subway station. Protester-set fires were also recorded on Nathan Road (Kowloon district).

A heightened security presence and localized disruptions to transportation and business are to be 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

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 While the bill was withdrawn on September 4, mass protests continue to be organized to demand government reforms and police accountability over associated violence since the start of the demonstrations. On November 24, 2019, pro-democracy candidates won 389 of the 452 seats in the territory's district council elections. The pro-democracy movement victory and the high turnout (71 percent) of the vote suggest that the public continues to support the 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.