The Latest: Hong Kong police arrest 5 in airport violence

Posted on Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 By The Associated Press

HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on Hong Kong pro-democracy protests (all times local):

5 p.m.

Hong Kong police say they arrested five people over violence involving pro-democracy protesters at the city's international airport.

Spokesman Mak Chin-ho said Wednesday all of the men aged between 17 and 28 were arrested for illegal assembly. Two were also charged with assaulting a police officer and possessing offensive weapons.

He says additional suspects are expected to be arrested, including some who assaulted an officer Tuesday night as riot police sought to clear the terminal, prompting him to draw his sidearm.

Hong Kong law permits sentences of life imprisonment for those who commit violent acts or acts that might interfere with aviation safety at an airport.

Mak told reporters: "The police pledge to all citizens of Hong Kong that we will take steps to bring all culprits to justice."


3:30 p.m.

Protesters in Hong Kong are apologizing to the public after they disrupted flights for two consecutive days at one of the busiest airports in the world.

They also said Wednesday that they were sorry that some demonstrators became "easily agitated and overreacted."

On two separate occasions at the airport Tuesday, protesters surrounded and held captive two men from mainland China whom they believed to be spies. One man is a reporter for the Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper, and the identity of the other man remains unclear.

More than 300 flights were cancelled Tuesday and Monday out of the Hong Kong airport after thousands of pro-democracy protesters packed into the main terminal. Operations were returning to normal Wednesday.


8:30 a.m.

Check-in counters have reopened at Hong Kong's airport after being shut during protests the previous day.

About three dozen protesters remained camped out in the arrivals area Wednesday morning. Flights appeared to be operating normally.

The airport closed check-in for remaining flights late Tuesday afternoon as protesters swarmed the terminal and blocked access to immigration for departing passengers.

More than 100 flights were cancelled on the fifth consecutive day protesters occupied the airport. Airlines had still been trying to clear a backlog of more than 200 flights from Monday.

The airport disruptions escalated a summer of demonstrations aimed at what many Hong Kong residents see as an increasing erosion of the freedoms they were promised in 1997 when Communist Party-ruled mainland China took over what had been a British colony.

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