Countries stress travel risks to HK

Top News | Cindy Wan 25 Jul 2019

Ireland has become the first country to issue a travel warning for Hong Kong as more countries - including Japan, South Korea and Canada - are advising their citizens to be wary following the violent clashes in Yuen Long.

Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued the warning yesterday and urged its citizens to be cautious if they are traveling to the city, which is known as one of the safest in the world.

"Irish citizens and members of the public are strongly advised to avoid areas where protests and unplanned public gatherings are taking place and to follow the advice of the local authorities," it said.

Canada, meanwhile, suggested travelers monitor the local media for information on upcoming demonstrations, which could take place on short notice and cause disruptions to public transport.

In a government notice, South Korea reminded its citizens they could provoke protesters if they film the demonstrations and be mistaken as one of them if they wear black shirts and masks.

As for Australia, the country warned of the confrontations and attacks targeting commuters in the New Territories on its consulate's Facebook page.

Earlier, the consulate-general of Japan in Hong Kong issued a reminder to all Japanese to avoid going to Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan and Ma On Shan, where indiscriminate attacks may take place.

The British government updated its advice to warn travelers and those working in Hong Kong to remain vigilant and leave the city if there are signs of disorder.

"Although there's no recent history of terrorism in Hong Kong, attacks can't be ruled out," it warned.

More warnings and travel advice against the city may come along as the Civil Human Rights Front sent an open letter to 61 consuls-general and the European Union Office in Hong Kong about the Yuen Long assault, which it branded as a "terrorist attack."

It urged the receiving parties to issue an Outbound Travel Alert to their citizens to prevent them from becoming "victims of violence by mobs and the Hong Kong Police Force."

It added: "Without real democracy, rule of law and freedom enjoyed by Hong Kong citizens and expatriates will continue to be threatened by tyranny and gangsters."

More protests will be launched as public anger continues to build following the indiscriminate attack in Yuen Long, which left victims and witnesses pointing the finger at the police's inability to safeguard their safety.

Apart from the protest targeting triad gangs in Yuen Long on Saturday, a new Sheung Wan march against police brutality is scheduled to be held at 3.30pm on Sunday.

Its route will be from Chater Garden to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park in Sai Ying Pun.

There will also be an airport rally organized by airline employees at the arrival hall in terminal one tomorrow from 1pm.

An application for a letter of no objection was submitted by the Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation yesterday, but it has yet to be approved.

Other protests are being planned on Hong Kong Island and in Tseung Kwan O, Wong Tai Sin, Tai Po, Sham Shui Po, Hung Hom, To Kwa Wan, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing and Tsing Yi for the rest of the month and next month.

Yoho Mall in Yuen Long will bring summer promotions, which should have concluded in August, to an end at 10pm today due to safety concerns.

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