01:32 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Anti-government protesters try to prevent a passenger from breaching a barricade in front of departure gates, during a demonstration at Hong Kong Airport, China August 13, 2019.

    Hong Kong Police Free Global Times Reporter, Arrest Five Amid Protests at Airport (Video)

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Flights to and from the airport were canceled for a second day on Tuesday as demonstrators continue to flood the halls, demanding an end to police brutality.

    Hong Kong police said Wednesday that they had arrested five people for possession of weapons and for assaulting officers amid ongoing protests at the Hong Kong International Airport.

    "Police have arrested five persons for offences including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons, assaulting police officers and breaching of the peace", police said in an online statement.

    Earlier on Tuesday, a journalist from China’s Global Times media outlet was claimed to have been seized by protesters at the airport. Local police reported that they had rescued the reporter and sent him to a hospital, newspaper editor in chief Hu Xijin tweeted.

    Tensions in the city are on the rise amid weeks of mass demonstrations triggered by proposed amendments to the extradition bill. Although the government indefinitely suspended the controversial bill in mid-June, rallies continue in the financial hub.

    The protests began over two months ago after local legislature opened debates on a bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China. The city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has since declared the bill "dead."

    Protesters are demanding that it must be withdrawn completely. Locals also want city authorities to implement universal suffrage and retract criminal charges against  protesters.

    Beijing has blamed foreign interference for the protests.

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