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UN rights chief calls for independent, impartial investigation into Hong Kong violence

Police officers charge at protesters amid tear gas outside Sham Shui Po police station in Hong Kong, China. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Hong Kong Aug 13, 2019, 02.49 PM (IST)

The UN rights chief on Tuesday voiced concern over force used against protesters during massive demonstrations in Hong Kong and called for an impartial probe.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is calling for "prompt, independent, impartial investigation" into alleged excessive force by police against the protesters, her spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.

Meanwhile, pro-democracy protesters blocked passengers at departure gates in several sections of Hong Kong airport Tuesday, a day after a sit-in forced authorities to cancel all flights to and from the major international hub.

In both terminals of the airport, protesters blocked paths to departure gates, though several dozen passengers were able to push through. 

"I support your cause... but I need to see my family," a man shouted as protesters dressed in black surrounded him, preventing him from reaching the gates.

Some passengers said they had been told to check their bags in at Terminal 1 and then move to Terminal 2 to take-off, but when they arrived they found more protesters also blocking the way.

The demonstrators moved luggage trolleys to prevent passengers using an elevator or escalator leading down to the departure gates on the bottom floor of Terminal 2.

Then they formed a human chain, linking arm-in-arm to stop passengers from getting to the departures area.

A crowd of angry passengers, among them families with children, tried to push through without success.

"Come on you're being really selfish now," shouted one man.

Story highlights

Pro-democracy protesters blocked passengers at departure gates in several sections of Hong Kong airport Tuesday, a day after a sit-in forced authorities to cancel all flights