HONG KONG (AFP) – Three Hong Kong democracy protest leaders were Saturday denied permission to board a flight to Beijing, where they had hoped to bring their demands for free elections to Chinese authorities.
The leaders of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, spearheading mass rallies that have paralysed parts of the city for six weeks, said airline officials informed them that their permits used for travel to the mainland had been cancelled by Chinese authorities.
“Airline officials informed (the leaders) they did not have the required travel documents to get on the plane,” Lester Shum, deputy secretary general of HKFS, told reporters.
Fruitless talks with the Hong Kong government almost a month ago have led to an impasse and protest leaders had planned to travel to Beijing to bypass the unpopular local administration altogether.
“We have received information from relevant departments on the mainland that the Home Return Permits of the passengers in question have been cancelled,” a Cathay Pacific staff member told the trio, footage from Cable Television News showed.