Hong Kong police fire tear gas as clashes return to city streets

Clay Curtis
August 25, 2019

On Saturday, Chinese police said they had released an employee of the British Consulate in Hong Kong who was detained in China as he was trying to make his way back from Shenzhen, the Chinese city that borders Hong Kong.

Simon Cheng was detained for 15 days for violating public security management regulations, police in Shenzhen's Luohu district said on their Twitter-like Weibo account.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement Saturday that "We welcome the release of Simon Cheng and are delighted that he can be reunited with his family".

Cathay Dragon is owned by Hong Kong's main carrier, Cathay Pacific, which has come under pressure from Chinese authorities for employing people who support the protests.

Some protesters sat on the ground to stop metal gates closing Kwun Tong station itself as others berated staff for shutting down the trains.

After the United Kingdom expressed "extreme concern" about the case this week, China's foreign ministry finally broke its silence on Wednesday, confirming that he had been detained in Shenzhen but not releasing any further details.

Cathay Pacific Airways, which has become the biggest corporate casualty of the protests after China demanded it suspend staff involved in the demonstrations, protested against a planned rally by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions around the airport's "Cathay City" HQ on Monday.

The city has been gripped by three months of street protests that started against a proposed extradition bill to China but have spun out into a wider pro-democracy movement.

Some protesters deviated from the approved route during the demonstration and set up barricades on a number of roads in Kowloon East and in Sham Shui Po, paralyzing traffic and affecting the emergency services, the spokesperson said.

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Many citizens on the mainland have circulating the picture without doing any fact check, but people in Hong Kong quickly said the prostitution claim was unfounded - as the picture in the tweet was an old photo from a news report in 2018 published by the Taiwan Next Magazine.

Last Sunday, about 1.7 million people attended a pro-democracy rally in central Hong Kong, according to organisers.

Protesters in Hong Kong carried flags and held up their mobile phones to illuminate the human chain, which took place Friday evening local time.

The demonstrations were triggered by a controversial bill which would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, but have evolved into a call for wider democratic reforms and a halt to sliding freedoms.

Hong Kong protesters have cut down a "smart lamppost" that they feared would facilitate Chinese surveillance, in the city's latest anti-government protest.

In Hong Kong's central business district Friday, protesters formed human chains that snaked past the Asian headquarters of many global financial institutions.

Geng elaborated that those who are "aboveboard" will have their rights guaranteed in China, while people with "an ulterior motive to engage in illegal activities" may have to be "extremely cautious". Cheng's detention stoked tensions in semi-autonomous Hong Kong, which has been rocked by months of antigovernment protests.

The tension between United States and China has risen lately after massive protests in Hong kong. The post said Cheng and his family would not be doing any interviews for now.

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