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HK protester dragged from London flight, suspected of stabbing police

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  • An anti-China protester in Hong Kong was pulled from a flight to London on Thursday and arrested on suspicion of stabbing a police officer the day before.
  • Hong Kong Police said an officer was stabbed during Wednesday protests against China’s new national-security law, and that the suspect — identified only as a 24-year-old man named Wong — fled the scene.
  • Riot police stormed a Cathay Pacific aircraft just before midnight on Wednesday and took the suspect into custody, according to multipile reports.
  • The UK has offered 3 million Hong Kongers a path to citizenship in response to the new law.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An anti-China protester was removed from a flight out of Hong Kong early Thursday morning and arrested on suspicion of stabbing a police officer the day before.

The man had been on a midnight Cathay Pacific Flight CX251 from Hong Kong International Airport to London. He has been identified as a 24-year-old man with the last name Wong, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

“During the early hours of July 2, a 24-year old man surnamed Wong was arrested at the airport on the suspicion of wounding,” Hong Kong police said, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

It is not clear whether the man was arrested on suspicion of violating national security law.

Earlier on Wednesday, protests against a new national-security law imposed by China on Hong Kong flared up, with ten people arrested for violating the law, according to the Hong Kong Police Force. The security law came into force at 11 p.m. the day before.

Hong Kong police tweeted an image showing the bloodied arm of a person wearing Hong Kong police uniform on Wednesday.

The tweet added that an officer was “stabbed in the arm by rioters holding sharp objects when he was taking arrest action,” that bystanders offered no help, and that the suspect immediately fled the scene.

Riot police stand guard after pushing back protesters demonstrating against the new security law during the anniversary of the Hong Kong handover from Britain, Wednesday, July. 1, 2020, in Hong Kong. Hong Kong police have made their first arrests under a new national security law imposed by mainland China. The law, which took effect Tuesday night, makes activities deemed subversive or secessionist punishable by up to life in prison. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Riot police in Hong Kong stand guard amid protests against China’s new national-security law on July 1, 2020.

Associated Press


Wong was arrested on the Cathay Pacific flight after police received an anonymous tip-off about his plans, the AP reported, citing police.

Leung Chun-ying, the city’s former leader, had offered a bounty of 500,000 Hong Kong dollars ($65,000) for the man’s capture, according to Reuters.

That the man was trying to fly to London is significant.

Last week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered three million Hong Kongers eased passage to British citizenship, work, and residency visas in light of the new law.

The UK — which colonized Hong Kong for 150 years until 1997 — has been vocal in its criticism, saying China is eroding the rights of Hong Kongers and violating the 1984 Sino-British treaty that laid out conditions for the return of Hong Kong to China.

China has warned the UK to prepare for economic sanctions if it doesn’t alter its actions.

hong kong

Protesters seen clashing with police in Hong Kong in June 2020.

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images


Shortly before midnight on Wednesday, ten riot police officers boarded the Cathay Pacific aircraft to locate the man, a witness told Reuters. The plane had been preparing to take off at the time.

It has since continued with the flight, and the plane arrived in London on Thursday morning, according to FlightRadar24.

According to the local Cable TV news, cited by Reuters, the man was in possession of an expired “British National Overseas passport.” That document is a way for Hong Kongers to get expedited British citizenship.

A police source told AFP: “He bought a ticket last minute. He was the only passenger on the flight to have purchased a ticket so late and had no check-in baggage with him.”

The AP reported, citing police, that the suspect did not respond to the crew when they called him by name, and was not in his designated seat. Police later found him after conducting a sweep of the plane, the AP reported.

Cathay Pacific declined to provide further information about the arrest, telling Business Insider: “The incident is being handled by the Police.”

Hong Kong International Airport did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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