Numbers Growing in Pro-Democracy Demonstrations, Says Estonian in Hong Kong ({{commentsTotal}})

The tens of thousands of protesters on the streets of Hong Kong, protesting against China vetting candidates for the city's elections, are seeing their numbers swell further, said Estonian Helina Lass, who is residing in the city.

Lass told ETV on Tuesday the protests have been fairly peaceful, but as neither side has shown any signs of compromise, there is uncertainty in the air.

“Only students were supposed to take part at the beginning, but after police used brutality on Sunday the protests gain a lot of attention and more and more people are joining,” she said.

Lass said a turn of events could happen today, as it is National Day in China, usually a day for celebration and fireworks, but banned today. She said protest leaders could face the death penalty, in the light of very severe punishments recently handed out for speaking out.

Hong Kong’s leader, Leung Chun-ying, on Tuesday called for the pro-democracy demonstrators who have blocked major roads in the city to return home immediately, but protest leaders responded with defiance, threatening to expand the demonstrations and to occupy government buildings. Hong Kong police used tear gas against protesters on Sunday.

He gave no indication that he would meet with the protest organizers or compromise on their demands for open elections to choose his successor.