Police use tear gas on Prince Edward protesters - RTHK
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Police use tear gas on Prince Edward protesters

2019-10-31 HKT 16:04
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  • Police use tear gas on Prince Edward protesters
  • People place flowers at the site to mark two months of the attack. Photo: RTHK
    People place flowers at the site to mark two months of the attack. Photo: RTHK
Police fired tear gas in Prince Edward on Thursday night as a large crowd gathered outside an MTR exit, marking two months since a controversial crackdown inside the MTR station.

Some protesters have remained outside the Mong Kok police station, while another group has moved to cut off traffic on Nathan Road.

Police accused protesters of setting barricades on fire in Dundas Street and Nathan Road in Mong Kok, adding that protesters blocked a fire engine from getting through. It said they also threw petrol bombs.

The MTR shut down the Prince Edward station at 2pm ahead of the protests, and it said on Thursday evening that Mong Kok station had also been closed because several exits had been blocked.

Shocking footage of the police operation in July showed officers running through a stopped train, beating passengers with batons and deploying pepper spray at close range, leaving many injured.

Journalists and volunteer medics were ordered to leave even as injured people were left on the platforms, leaving no independent record of what happened, and ultimately sparking unsubstantiated rumours that there may have been fatalities at the station that night.

The police, Fire Services Department and hospitals have repeatedly and strenuously denied this, but rumours persist.

Protesters have put up makeshift shrines at the MTR exit closest to the Mong Kok Police Station, and the site has seen frequent confrontations between police and protesters.

The clashes have also repeatedly led to the early closure of the station.

A woman surnamed Chan who lives nearby told RTHK on Thursday that she thinks the MTR has done the right thing to close the station early to ensure public safety.

"The protesters are complaining for nothing. They say people have died when no one has. The MTR did this to protect people. Otherwise they may get in conflicts with the protesters," she said.

"It has happened before, the protesters hit some elderly men, who were outnumbered. So I think it’s reasonable for the MTR to close the station," said Chan.

A university student who brought white flowers to Prince Edward station before it closed, however, said she still doesn't believe official denials, and suspects the worst had happened at the station on that day.

"After two months they still have not released the CCTV footage. Which means that there is something very strange happened," she said.

She also criticised the railway operator for closing the station early as this causes inconvenience to people. The student said she expects more protesters to turn up later in the day.

Outside the station, there was no sign of any unusual activity and there was no noticeable police presence when the station shut down for the day.

Last updated: 2019-10-31 HKT 22:30