Hong Kong police rejected an application for an annual candlelight vigil marking the anniversary this week of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, as residents rushed to apply for passports that could allow them to move to the United Kingdom.

Throngs of people lined up at DHL courier outlets across the city, many to send documents to the UK to apply for or renew what is known as a British National (Overseas) passport.

My BNO passport expired in 2004, but at the time I didn’t renew it because I trusted China,” said 40-year-old Peter Chan, who works in asset management and waited in line for more than two hours.

Mr Chan said he was worried about political and security issues in Hong Kong stemming from an upcoming national security law as well as a push by the semi-autonomous territory’s legislature to enact a bill that would make it illegal to insult the Chinese national anthem.

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