30 September 2023

False: Local media did not report UK government helped suspected protester flee Hong Kong

The claim is false and the image appears to be manipulated.

Image for post


On July 1, a police officer was stabbed in the arm during an anti-security law protest in Hong Kong. Hours later police arrested a man at the airport in connection to the incident.

The event generated heated discussions online and a post on Weibo claims the media outlet HK01 reported the suspect held an “emergency airplane ticket” given to him by the British “embassy,” and carried a large amount of pounds sterling in cash. The post had over 25,000 reactions and 2,800 shares on Weibo.

The claim is false and the image appears to be manipulated.

The original article published by HK01 did not mention the involvement of the British Consulate-General in this incident (there is no British embassy in Hong Kong).

HK01 told Annie Lab they did not publish an article indicating the involvement of the U.K. government. The press office of the British Consulate-General also denied it through email.

The July 1 protest took place in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, where around 4 p.m. protesters used sharp and hard objects to attack a police officer who was trying to arrest someone, according to the Hong Kong Police Force.

Local media reported the man was detained on board Cathay Pacific flight CX251, bound for London, and that he bought the ticket himself at the last minute. The police said in a press conference that a tip-off led to the man’s arrest.

When asked about the rumor that the suspect carried a considerable amount of British currency and that the British Consulate-General’s staff were seen at the scene, the police said they had no information and did not elaborate further.