Kowloon’s Prince Edward MTR station is officially closed after it was besieged by protesters demanding it release CCTV footage from the night of Aug. 31, when riot police charged into the station and attacked suspected protesters and commuters.
In an alert, the MTR Corp said the decision to close the station had been made to “ensure the safety of passengers and our staff,” and urged those who needed to transfer between the Tsuen Wan and Kwun Tong lines to do so at Mong Kok or Yau Ma Tei instead.
The police clearance operation at Prince Edward on the night of the 31st drew an immediate backlash, as unflattering videos circulated of cops in train cars lashing out with their batons and wantonly hosing down pleading passengers with copious amounts of pepper spray.
The action was so pitched that rumors of a suspect being killed in the melee have proven particularly persistent, despite official denials.
Seeking answers today, a crowd of protesters descended on the station, with some kneeling in front of the control center to plead with staffers to release CCTV footage from the night as evidence.
Now: a full sit-it protest in #PrinceEdward MTR station, after ppl came to support young protesters who knelt to demand the release of CCTV footage on Aug 31 – when police stormed the platform to make arrests. They said MTR shouldn’t just keep footage for 3 yrs, but release them. pic.twitter.com/Zd7j8eMClI
— Frances Sit (@frances_sit) September 6, 2019
The MTR has found itself catching flak from all sides of late, with protesters first turning on the corporation for allegedly doing too little to protect passengers from a brutal mob attack by pro-Beijing thugs carried out at Yuen Long MTR in July. Other protest-related incidents since then have only intensified protesters’ anger at the rail operator.
Meanwhile, the company — which also has extensive business interests on the mainland — was targeted in a seemingly coordinated attack campaign by state-run Chinese media, which accused it of being an “accomplice to rioters” for allegedly doing too little to thwart protesters’ efforts to evade police.
Seemingly folding in the face of the media attacks, the MTR Corp announced it would be closing stations without warning in the event of any violence or vandalism, drawing still more criticism from the protester camp.
As of press time, some of the protesters at Prince Edward were continuing their demonstration outside the station following its closure.