10-year-old Japanese girl interviews Hong Kong airport protesters

Intrigued by the ongoing protests against the extradition Bill in Hong Kong, a 10-year-old Japanese girl went on a field trip to the city to learn firsthand the reasons behind the demonstrations.

Shimazu Chika, who is in primary four, travelled to Hong Kong on Wed (14 Aug) with her father to interview the protesters, as she believes that a dialogue must be held with those on the ground in order to understand the truth, according to Japan’s WBS News.

She added that while she had learnt about the demonstrations in Hong Kong from the news, she did not know the background of the movement prior to her interview with the protesters.

Several protesters told Shimazu that they fear the prospect of Hong Kong losing the freedom it has long enjoyed under the “one country, two systems” framework, while several others stressed that they are not protesting to push for Hong Kong’s independence from China, only protecting their current freedoms from the allegedly increasing encroachment from Beijing.

The protesters who were interviewed thanked Shimazu for supporting their cause.

Following the airport sit-ins, the Hong Kong Airport Authority was granted an injunction to “stop people from unlawfully and wilfully obstructing or interfering with the proper use of the airport”, South China Morning Post reported. Some of the protesters apologised for the disruption and inconvenience caused for the travellers during the sit-ins, according to WBS News.

AFP reported that thousands of protesters in black gathered at Hong Kong’s airport on Mon and Tue, forcing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.

Some protesters reportedly resorted to aggression, including setting up barricades using luggage trolleys to block passengers at the departure halls, and even physically assaulting a policeman. However, the protesters stopped doing so after a policeman pulled his gun and pointed it at them, but did not fire.

One man, who was suspected of being an undercover agent from mainland China, was held by protesters around a couple of hours. However, he fainted and was sent to the hospital by an ambulance. Riot police briefly deployed pepper spray and batons to beat back protesters while they escorted the vehicle away from the departures hall, according to AFP.

Another man, who wore a yellow journalist vest and was later confirmed to be a staff of China’s Global Times tabloid by editor Hu Xijun, was zip-tied and then beaten up by a small group of protesters who accused him of being a spy. AFP noted that Global Times, controlled by the Beijing government, has reportedly strongly condemned the protests in Hong Kong.