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Unrest in HKG Airport closed on August 12th and 13th

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August 5, 2019

Hong Kong (HKG) (Hong Kong (HKG))

Airport disruptions

Airport:

Hong Kong (HKG) (Hong Kong (HKG))

Event:

Airport disruptions

When:

All day, August 5, 2019

What to do:

Air Canada has revised its ticketing policy for customers booked on affected flights to facilitate changes to bookings. Those customers wishing to make alternate travel arrangements can do so without penalty, space permitting, using our online rebooking tool: check your alternate travel options currently available; re-book yourself and check in before arriving at the airport.

Prior to leaving for the airport, please check your Flight Status, or call Air Canada's automated flight information system at 1-888-422-7533.

Alternatively, you can contact Air Canada Reservations toll-free in Canada and the U.S. at 888-247-2262. From Outside Canada and the U.S., call (514) 393-3333 (long distance charges apply). TTY: 1-800-361-8071 or Air Canada Reservations worldwide. Due to increased call centre volume, wait times may be longer than usual.

Air Canada Vacations Customers must contact Air Canada Vacations directly for rebooking or for travel alternatives at 1-800-296-3408.

More information on re-booking policies for anticipated flight delays and cancellations.

Air Canada is monitoring the situation closely and is working to get you on your way safely and as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

 

Latest update: 05 Aug 2019 14:00 HKT (GMT+8)

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have been informed by the Airport Authority of Hong Kong that air traffic flow control measures are being implemented on 5 August 2019. As a result, many flights have been delayed or cancelled. Customers are advised to postpone non-essential travel. We strongly advise customers not to go to the airport unless they have a confirmed booking. Please note that standby travel is not available at this moment.

With immediate effect, rebooking and rerouting charges will be waived for all tickets issued worldwide (irrespective of fare type) on/before 5 August 2019 for travel on Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon confirmed bookings arriving to and departing from HKG on 5 August 2019 and 6 August 2019. Please view more details on our Special ticketing guideline page.

To view the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights that have been cancelled, please view the links below:

All customers scheduled to fly are urged to check Flight Status before proceeding to the airport. To ensure you receive the latest flight status updates via SMS or email, please update contact details in Manage Booking.

If you are travelling to/from Hong Kong International Airport on Monday, 5 August 2019:

  • Please note that In-Town Check-in for all flights has been suspended. Check-in can be done in person at the airport or online at cathaypacific.com.
  • At this moment, no standby tickets are being issued. To avoid congestion, please avoid travelling to the airport unless your flight has been confirmed.
  • Congestion at the airport is highly likely, with longer queues expected at security check-points – we suggest passengers arrive 3 to 4 hours prior to their flight’s scheduled departure time.

To understand our service recovery during disruptions, please visit our Flight delays and cancellations page.

While disruption events like these can change significantly and at short notice, rest assured we are doing everything we can in advance to minimise the impact to customers.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will continue to update the affected flights on Monday, 5 August 2019 here as soon as possible.

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Three-day protest kicks off at Hong Kong airport

Authorities at Chek Lap Kok airport implement 'extra security measures' as fresh wave of protests begins.

2 hours ago
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Three-day protest kicks off at Hong Kong airport
Protesters held a demonstration at Hong Kong's airport on Friday [Vincent Thian/AP]

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said the government will not make any concessions to appease the protesters, hours after pro-democracy activists kicked off three days of rallies at Hong Kong's airport, hoping to win international support from arriving passengers as the proteststhat have rocked the city enter the third month.

"As far as political solutions is concerned, I don't think we should make concessions just to silence these violent protesters; we should do what is right for Hong Kong ... that is stop the violence so that we can move on," Lam told reporters during a news conference on Friday.

Those comments came as hundreds of demonstrators, mostly wearing black shirts, started to gather at the arrival area of Chek Lap Kok Airport earlier on Friday - the second time they brought their message to the international travel hub.

Demonstrators promoted it on social media with a mock boarding pass reading "HK to freedom" and "warm pick-up to guests to HK".

Extra security measures have been put in place at the airport before the latest rallies, with authorities preventing anyone without a boarding pass from entering the check-in area.

The gatherings, expected to run over three days, have not been authorised, but the last demonstration at the airport passed off peacefully without causing flight disruptions.

Airport Authority Hong Kong earlier said that it was aware of the planned rallies but "the airport will operate normally".

Al Jazeera's Rob McBride, reporting from Hong Kong, said the main worry among Hong Kong authorities is not the protest at the airport, but the other unauthorised demonstrations expected across the city throughout the day and the coming weekend. 

"You've got to remember that many protesters go out, and they protest quite peacefully. The concern for the authorities is, as we go through the day, that there is a hardcore group of thousands of protesters, who seemed to get involved in clashes with the authorities," McBride said.

Meanwhile, an email attributed to an unidentified government spokesman said the government and the travel industry were working to minimise disruptions and "all stand ready to welcome and assist visitors to Hong Kong any time".

Hong Kong airport protest
As protests have become increasingly violent, several countries have upgraded their travel warnings for Hong Kong, with Washington this week urging its citizens to 'exercise increased caution' [Vincent Thian/AP]

Drop-in tourist arrivals

But on Thursday, the government conceded that tourist arrivals dropped 26 percent at the end of last month compared with last year and continue to fall in August.

 

It's Friday and scorching outside, and there's a massive sit-in protest at the Hong Kong International Airport. This is the first of a planned three-day rally in the arrivals hall.

View image on Twitter
 
 
 
 

The travel industry accounts for 4.5 percent of the financial hub's economy and employs about 250,000 people, or about seven percent of the total working population.

According to Lam, the effects of the mass protests have hit the Hong Kong economy harder than the 2008 SARS epidemic

Flanked by business leaders, Lam told the media that downward economic pressure had hit like a "tsunami".

She added that she was worried about the longterm economic consequences of the protests.

On July 26, thousands of people of Hong Kong, including flight attendants, also rallied at the airport to "educate" visitors about the protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

The weeks of demonstrations pose the biggest threat to Beijing's authority since Hong Kong's handover from the British in 1997.

And as protests have become increasingly violent, several countries have upgraded their travel warnings for Hong Kong, with Washington this week urging its citizens to "exercise increased caution".

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS 

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Published Friday, August 9, 2019 5:16AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 9, 2019 6:07AM EDT

OTTAWA -- The federal government has issued a travel advisory that urges Canadians travelling to Hong Kong to exercise "a high degree of caution" because of the escalating protests in the city.

The government's website says there are "identifiable safety and security concerns or the safety and security situation could change with little notice."

Canadians are advised to "exercise a high degree of caution at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities."

The United States, Australia, Ireland, Britain and Japan are among several other nations that have also issued travel advisories to their citizens.

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All mighty $$$ "trumps" individual freedom of expression no surprise here!

 
August 10, 2019 / 8:30 AM / Updated an hour ago

Cathay Pacific suspends pilot arrested in Hong Kong protests

BEIJING (Reuters) - Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (0293.HK) said on Saturday it had suspended a pilot arrested during anti-government protests in Hong Kong and that “overly radical” staff would be barred from crewing flights to the mainland.

The move followed China’s aviation regulator demanding the airline prevent staff involved in some of the protests in Hong Kong from operating flights to China, describing it as a safety issue.

The broadside poses a major commercial challenge to Cathay, which already reported tumbling bookings last week as a result of the anti-government protests gripping Hong Kong.

The airline said on Saturday in response to customer queries that the pilot had been removed from duties on July 30 “in line with our standard process” and had not flown since July 15.

“We express no view whatsoever on the subject matter of any proceedings to which he may be subject,” the company added in a statement.

For the past two months Hong Kong has been embroiled in increasingly violent anti-government street protests, which a Chinese official described last week as the greatest crisis since its return from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

The Cathay pilot, whom the company did not name, was among over 40 people charged with rioting, during clashes with police near Beijing’s main representative office in the city.

In a separate memo on Saturday, Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg told staff that in order to comply with the new regulatory demands it would not allow any crew supporting protests in Hong Kong to staff flights to the mainland from midnight on Aug. 10.

“Cathay Pacific Group employees who support or take part in illegal protests, violent actions, or overly radical behavior shall be immediately suspended from any activity involving flights to the mainland,” he said.

The memo added that the airline would submit identification details of all crews flying to or over mainland China to authorities there for approval.

“Cathay Pacific Group’s operations in mainland China are key to our business,” he said

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Hong Kong airport cancels Monday flights amid sit-in protest

Authorities say they are suspending departing and arriving flights after thousands of protesters enter arrivals halls.

an hour ago
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Hong Kong airport has suspended all the remaining flights for Monday due to the ongoing pro-democracy protest in its terminal, according to airport authorities.

Authorities said they were suspending departing and arriving flights at one of the world's busiest travel hubs after thousands of protesters entered the arrivals halls to stage a demonstration.

"Other than the departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights that are already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today," the airport authority said in a statement.

"Airport operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today," the statement said.

It said traffic on roads to the airport was very congested and car park spaces were full. "Members of the public are advised not to come to the airport," the statement added.

Hong Kong Flighradar
Only a very small number of planes is allowed to land at Hong Kong airport [Screenshot/FlightRadar24]

Hours later, the airport authority said all passengers were advised to leave the airport as soon as possible.

Sightings of police officers

Cherry Yeung, 31, a stay-at-home mother, sat out the weekend sit-in, but after last night's police crackdown, she said she was enraged enough to take action.

On Monday afternoon, she set off with her 2-year-old boy in tow and armed with a laptop to play footage of police violence for the world to see.

"I’m very angry at what happened overnight," said Yeung.

Since midnight Monday authorities cordoned off the departure hall. Soon enough the entire two levels of the main Terminal 1 were totally packed with demonstrators.

By 4:30 p.m. word began to circulate on social media app Telegram that there were sightings of dozens of police officers in the airport’s restricted clearance area and a convoy of armoured police vehicles was on the way. Protesters with small children, like Yeung, were urged to leave first.

"Our government is simply despicable," said Yeung as she evacuated from the airport following the unconfirmed reports.

"We’ve been most peaceful but the police seems hell-bent to follow their playbook to quash any mass protest."

Hundreds of black-clad demonstrators have since been retreating on foot on the one of the lanes on the highway out of the airport.

The airport is home to Cathay Pacific Airway, which has been under mounting pressure from Beijing to ban employees who have participated in protests from serving mainland Chinese routes.

Last week, Cathay grounded a pilot was charged for being involved in the protests.

As a result of the protests, Cathay's shares have plunged significantly. 

Traveller walk at the departure hall as flights information boards displaying numerous flights was cancel ay the Hong Kong International airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. One of the world’s busiest airp
Hong Kong International airport is one of the world's busiest travel hubs [ Vincent Thian/AP Photo]

'Sense of outrage' 

Al Jazeera correspondent Rob McBride said that over 5,000 protesters have reportedly descended on the airport.

"There is a sense of outrage here … the police have used their batons, they have fired tear gas … and so, there is a sense of outrage what some are calling police brutality," McBride said.

"Especially significant is the wounding of a girl, at one of the protests, who may well have lost an eye as a result," he added.

"The protesters have completely taken over the terminal."

McBride added that the tougher stance of the Hong Kong police on Sunday was very different from most of the previous weeks.

"Possibly, it was a way or trying to scare people into not coming out, not taking part in illegal activities. If that is the case, they maybe they may have to think again," McBride said about

In response, protesters were seen carrying signs and banners condemning police brutality and calling the police murderers.

A man looks at the flight information board shows outbound flights was cancel at the Hong Kong International airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. One of the world’s busiest airports cancelled all remaining
Hong Kong airport has suspended all the remaining flights for Monday [Vincent Thian/AP Photo]

Worst crisis in decades

Increasingly restive protests for over two months have plunged Hong Kong into its most serious political crisis in decades and presented a serious challenge to Beijing.

The protests, which started over a controversial extradition bill, expanded into wider calls for democratic reforms and an independent inquiry into police conduct during the demonstrations.

The protest movement's demands also include the resignation of the Chinese territory's leader Carrie Lam and an election for her successor

Over the weekend, as demonstrators threw up barricades across the city, police shot volleys of tear gas into crowded underground train stations for the first time, and fired bean-bag rounds at close range.

Scores of protesters were arrested, sometimes after being beaten with batons and bloodied by police. Police have arrested more than 600 people since the unrest began.

In a response to those skirmishes, Chinese authorities said the protesters in Hong Kong were taking part in "terrorism", AFP news agency reported.

 

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Hong Kong airport authority set to resume flights Tuesday after cancellations on 4th day of protests

All flights not checked in Monday were cancelled amid peaceful anti-government demonstrations

Thomson Reuters · Posted: Aug 12, 2019 4:46 AM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago
 
Hong Kong's Airport Authority cancelled all flights not yet checked in by Monday afternoon because of anti-government protests, the agency said. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

The Hong Kong airport will restart flights starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday after it shut down operations when thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators occupied its main terminal.

Hong Kong cancelled all flights not yet checked in by Monday afternoon, the agency said, as anti-government protesters peacefully demonstrated at the airport for a fourth day.

 

"Other than departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today," the authority said in a statement.

Traffic on roads to the airport was congested and car park spaces were full, it said.

A traffic jam soon formed on the highway leading back to Hong Kong's city centre, with some people walking in the sweltering weather.  

Earlier Monday, Hong Kong police showed off water cannons that could be deployed in the case of future demonstrations, a development which Amnesty International has warned could lead to serious injuries if misused within the densely populated city's confined spaces. 

 

Legislators and journalists were invited to witness the display of extreme crowd control tactics coming after a weekend of protests at the airport and on the streets of one of the city's main shopping districts.

The increasingly violent protests have plunged Chinese-ruled Hong Kong into its most serious crisis in decades and presented a serious challenge to Beijing. 

In Beijing, the cabinet's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office issued a statement saying the situation in Hong Kong was "beginning to show the sprouts of terrorism" and constituted an "existential threat" to the population of Hong Kong.

Demonstrations began earlier this year in response to an extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong authorities to send people to China to face charges. The bill has been scrapped, but protests have continued as demonstrators accuse China of encroaching on Hong Kong's political autonomy. 

Last week, Canada increased its travel advisory for Hong Kong due to the protests, telling travellers to exercise "a high degree of caution." The move came after the U.S. and Australia made similar updates to their travel alerts; Ireland, Britain and Japan have also issued travel advisories to their citizens.

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Flights suspended at Hong Kong airport as protest continues

Authorities forced to suspend departing flights for second day as protesters gather at the airport.

3 hours ago
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Tuesday's suspension comes a day after a pro-democracy protest brought the air transport hub to a standstill. [Vincent Thian/AP]

Flights have been suspended at Hong Kong's international airport, the airport authority said on Tuesday, citing disruptions caused by anti-government protests.

Tuesday's suspension comes a day after a pro-democracy protest brought the air transport hub to a standstill.

"Terminal operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly," the airport authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Members of the public are advised not to come to the airport."

The city's leader Carrie Lam denounced the demonstrations, saying that "lawbreaking activities in the name of freedom" were damaging the rule of law, and that the Asian financial hub's recovery from anti-government protests could take a long time.

 

Cheers and applause from protesters once its confirmed that all flights are cancelled #antielab #hkprotests #hkairport

 
 
 
 

Later on Tuesday, protesters were seen gathering once more in the departure hall of the airport, with Associated Press reporting some of the departing travellers struggling to get past the sitting demonstrators and into the immigration section.

Al Jazeera's Rob McBride, reporting from Hong Kong airport, said the airport staff have been trying to clear the backlog.

"There have been calls from the protesters to once again build up numbers and do what they did on Monday. We haven't seen the numbers that we saw yesterday," he said.

"We are seeing as the afternoon goes on more and more protesters arriving," he added.

On Monday, airport authorities cancelled all outgoing flights, as thousands of protesters started to gather in the departure and arrival areas of the airport.

However, the South China Morning Post reported that as many as 160 outbound and 150 inbound flights were already cancelled for the rest of the day on Tuesday before the official announcement came later in the day.

'Violent crackdown'

The airport protest was a rare case of the movement having a direct impact on business travel and tourism - mainstays of Hong Kong's economy.

Many protesters said on Monday that they were angered by Sunday's police crackdown, which injured several people and at least one female medic was blinded in one eye.

The protests, which have seen both sides adopt increasingly extreme tactics, had until Monday been mostly confined to neighbourhoods across the former British colony.

 
Many protesters were angered by Sunday's police crackdown, which left several people injured [Issei Kato/Reuters]

Police officers were seen firing tear gas at protesters inside a train station, while beating some with their batons.

There have also been allegations of authorities impersonating protesters and trying to stir up violence to draw the attention of the riot police.

As this developed, China has ratcheted up its rhetoric, accusing demonstrators of "wantonly" trampling on Hong Kong's rule of law and social order.

UN raises concerns

The United Nations said in an official statement on Tuesday is it worried about the escalation in Hong Kong, adding that the organisation calls for the two sides to engage in dialogue.

"The High Commissioner condemns any form of violence or destruction of property and urges everyone participating in the demonstrations to express their views in a peaceful way. She notes the Chief Executive’s commitment to 'engage as widely as possible' and to 'listen to the grievances of the people of Hong Kong.'," the statement by Michelle Bachelet said

"She calls on the authorities and the people of Hong Kong to engage in an open and inclusive dialogue aimed at resolving all issues peacefully. This is the only sure way to achieve long-term political stability and public security by creating channels for people to participate in public affairs and decisions affecting their lives" it continued.

The UN also said it was imperative authoroties investigate evidence of police forces firing tear gas at protesters in ways banned by international law.

"The UN Human Rights Office has reviewed credible evidence of law enforcement officials employing less-lethal weapons in ways that are prohibited by international norms and standards," the statement read.

"Officials can be seen firing tear gas canisters into crowded, enclosed areas and directly at individual protesters on multiple occasions, creating a considerable risk of death or serious injury," it added.

The statement concluded saying the authorities should "ensure that the right of those who are expressing their views peacefully are respected and protected, while ensuring that the response by law enforcement officials to any violence that may take place is proportionate and in conformity with international standards on the use of force, including the principles of necessity and proportionality".

 
It is the second day in a row flights from Hong Kong airport have been cancelled because of the protests [Issei Kato/Reuters] 

'Dangerous situation'

Following Monday's sudden airport closure, Lam said: "Violence, no matter if it's using violence or condoning violence, will push Hong Kong down a path of no return and push society into a very dangerous and worrying situation."

"The situation in HK in the past week has made me worried we have reached this dangerous situation," she added.

Her comments were echoed by Yang Guang, spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.

"Hong Kong's radical demonstrators have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers, which already constitutes a serious violent crime, and also shows the first signs of terrorism emerging,", Yang said at a press briefing in Beijing on Monday.

Some Hong Kong legal experts say official descriptions of some protesters' actions as "terrorism" could lead to the use of extensive anti-terror laws and powers against them.

Yang did not suggest that the Chinese government has any imminent plans to step in, but later on Monday, two state media outlets - the nationalistic tabloid Global Times and the People's Daily - published a video of armoured personnel carriers purportedly driving towards Shenzhen, a city bordering the semi-autonomous territory.

The People's Armed Police (PAP) are in charge of "handling riots, turmoil, seriously violent, criminal activities, terrorist attacks and other societal security incidents", the People's Daily said in the text accompanying the video.

Hong Kong has witnessed 10 weeks of mass anti-government protests that were sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill which would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.

The demonstrations have since expanded into wider demands for democratic reforms, a call for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to resign and an independent inquiry into police conduct during the demonstrations.

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This is very concerning.

Quote

Large numbers of Chinese paramilitary forces have been filmed assembling just 30km (18.6 miles) from Hong Kong in the city of Shenzen, as the UN warned Beijing to exercise restraint in its response to growing unrest in the territory.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/hong-kong-protests-latest-airport-china-military-response-a9055591.html

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18 minutes ago, J.O. said:

Yes, the world is holding their breath awaiting what the Chinese will do. In the past they have not exactly been forgiving re civil unrest. If worse comes to worse, will other nations react against China or just sit holding their breath.

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I have only seen one cancelled Air Canada flight and one with a big delay but the rest of them seem to be getting out normally.

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12 hours ago, Marshall said:

Yes, the world is holding their breath awaiting what the Chinese will do. In the past they have not exactly been forgiving re civil unrest. If worse comes to worse, will other nations react against China or just sit holding their breath.

The scary thing about this situation is Hong Kong itself has really outlived it's economic usefulness to the Chinese, the prospect of capital flight out of Hong Kong won't weigh heavily on Beijing decision making. Indeed delivering privation to Hong Kong in lieu of crushing Taiwan might even be appealing to the hardliners.

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Hong Kong protests: Flights resume amid new security measures

Hong Kong airport has resumed operations after a night of chaos which saw protesters clash with riot police.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled on Tuesday after protesters flooded the terminal buildings.

Early on Wednesday flights appeared to be running as scheduled, though some still remained delayed or cancelled.

After days of disruptions, the Airport Authority said it had obtained a temporary injunction banning protesters from entering certain areas.

It said in a statement that people would be "restrained from attending or participating in any demonstration or protest... in the airport other than in the area designated by the Airport Authority".

Additional security measures have been put in place restricting access to the terminal - with only staff and passengers with valid boarding passes allowed in.

Hong Kong is in its tenth week of anti-government protests.

What happened at the airport on Tuesday?

The airport, one of the world's busiest, has been the site of daily protests since last Friday but they had been mostly peaceful.

On Tuesday, protesters blocked travellers from accessing flights, using luggage trolleys to build barriers, and staging a mass sit-down.

Some protesters held signs apologising to passengers for the inconvenience caused by their demonstrations.

However, things escalated when one man was set upon by protesters reportedly because they thought he was an undercover police officer.

Police, wearing riot gear and brandishing truncheons, later arrived at the airport and clashed with protesters.

In one video, a policeman is seen frantically drawing his gun on protesters after being attacked with his own truncheon for manhandling a woman.

Hong Kong police said the officer's life was "under great danger" and insisted he only drew his gun "out of emergency and necessity" and "exercised great restraint".

A police officer draws his gun and aims at protesters in the airport building

Protesters had boxed him into a corner after prying the baton from his hands during a violent skirmish. After collapsing to the ground, the policeman was eventually dragged to safety by his fellow officers.

At least two other men, also suspected of being police officers, were also confronted by protesters. One was held for several hours and his hands zip-tied. Paramedics were initially blocked from evacuating the man, even as he appeared to lose consciousness.

The actions came after Hong Kong police admitted on Monday that disguised officers were being planted among anti-government protesters.

The editor of Chinese state media outlet the Global Times later said one of the men attacked was a reporter from the outlet.Presentational white space

The BBC's Asia-Pacific editor Michael Bristow says Chinese censors are allowing a video of the reporter's ordeal to be shared in mainland China, where news of the Hong Kong demonstrations is strictly controlled.

On Wednesday, police likened the treatment of the men to "torture" and said they had arrested five men.

Overnight, protest groups issued online apologies for the violence, saying they were "scared" and appealed for help.

Some also handed out apology leaflets and chocolate to people arriving at the airport's train station.

Separately, the Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific airline has fired two pilots for protesting after China demanded that they suspend personnel involved in the demonstrations.

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