City authorities allowed a large protest in Beijing today, in which hundreds of grieving, angry friends and relatives of MH370 passengers surrounded the Malaysian embassy in the city. This protest is likely Beijing’s largest since 2012’s anti-Japanese overflowing of anger and, like two years ago, police stood by at the ready but did not interfere with the protestors.
The AFP spotted “around 200 family members, some in tears, linked arms and shouted slogans including ‘The Malaysian government are murderers’ and ‘We want our relatives back’.” AFP also identified “scores of black-clad uniformed police officers” who were on site but who did not attempt to quell the protest.
Relatives and friends of the MH370 passengers have collectively called themselves “The Committee of Family Members of Passengers of Malaysia Airlines MH370,” and have released a statement that outlines their basic belief, as follows:
The Malaysian government and military constantly tried to delay, conceal, cover up and deceive the passengers’ families and the whole world. This shameless behavior not only fooled and hurt the families of the 154 [Chinese] passengers but also misled and delayed the rescue effort
There is an incredible amount of frustration, sadness, and anger that has surfaced after the Malaysian Prime Minister told reporters last night that it was “beyond all reasonable doubt” all of the plane’s passengers had died.
Protestors have called the Kuala Lumpur government and Malaysia Airlines “executioners,” and place an “unforgivable guilt” on the country’s airline, government, and military. A protestor (despite their organization into the aforementioned committee, it seems early to call them “activists”) who spoke to Reuters said:
If our 154 loved ones on board have lost their precious lives on the plane because of this, then Malaysia Airlines, the Malaysia government and the Malaysia military are the real executioners who have killed our loved ones.
A Malaysian embassy official was eventually sent out to meet with the protestors, and he heard their demands.
International search teams plan to hunt for the plane’s wreckage as soon as the weather permits, and when (if?) the plane is finally found, hopefully many, many questions will be answered.
[Image via The Straits Times]