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23 Jan 2020 | 06:48 PM UTC

Hong Kong: Further demonstrations planned January 24-31 /update 189

Civil society groups plan further rallies throughout Hong Kong January 24-31; heightened security presence and localized disruptions expected

security
transportation
HKG

Event

Various civil society groups are calling for further protests across Hong Kong over the coming days. Multiple Lunar New Year festivals will be held from Friday, January 24, through Monday, January 27, in Wong Tai Sin, Tsim Sha Tsui, Sha Tin, Tai Po, Fortress Hill, and Kwun Tong. On Friday, a rally is scheduled to be held outside of the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre in support of detained protesters. Another demonstration originally planned for Sunday, January 26, in Mong Kok has been called off after a police ban on the event was upheld by an appeals board. Officials said that the rally could pose a serious threat to public order and safety.

On Wednesday, January 29, a sit-in is being organized in Central and Western district to protest police officers possibly being armed with stun guns and other electroshock devices. The rally will begin at 12:00 (local time) but the exact location of the sit-it will not be announced until 11:45 that day. Another sit-in is scheduled to take place outside of the MTR headquarters building in Kowloon Bay on Friday, January 31, to call for the company to release CCTV footage of violent clashes at the Prince Edward station on August 31, 2019, and to protest the unreasonable closing of MTR stations. Also on January 31, demonstrator plan to gather at Edinburgh Place (Central) from 20:00 to 22:00 to demand the government look into long-standing medical problems.

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

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 While the bill was withdrawn on September 4, mass protests continue to be organized to demand government reforms and police accountability over violence since the start of the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. 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 suggests 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.