Angry Chinese family members of victims on board the MH370 Malaysian Airlines flight went against China’s ban on protests to demonstrate in front of the Malaysian Embassy and demand evidence that the plane had plunged into the southern Indian Ocean with no hope of survivors.
“We want them to give us the truth,” said one man who claimed he had a family member on the flight. “There is no evidence to say anything.”
Public protests are illegal in China, hence protesting in front of the embassy indicates desperation. The protesters travelled by bus to the Malaysian Embassy carrying signs and wearing T-shirts that read, “Give us back our loved ones!”
At one point, the crowd clashed with police by throwing bottles and shouting. After that, more Chinese police appeared at the location. Tons of uniformed officers blocked off the streets, military police filled the area and emergency personnel drove ambulances on site. Later, journalists were barred from entering the area.
Earlier this morning, a representative for the protesters issued a statement, demanding more details from Malaysian officials who have “have concealed, delayed and hid the truth from the relatives and peoples of the world. This despicable act, aimed to fool the relatives of the 154 Chinese passengers, have devastated us physically and mentally,” it read.
“If the 154 of our loved ones lose their lives, then Malaysia Airlines, the government of Malaysia and the military are really the executioners of our loved ones.”
According to a report, a representative from the Malaysian Embassy came out to speak with the protesters but didn’t provide any extra information. Later that afternoon, most of the family members returned to the Lido Hotel in Beijing.
The Malaysian ambassador met with the families to express his sincere condolences. The mood was tense but subdued, and the ambassador was at a loss to provide the answers they wanted. Eventually, he was escorted out by police.
Malaysia Airlines announced that it was offering initial financial assistance of $5,000 per family member and that extra compensation was being arranged.
For more updates on flight MH370, watch this space.