Senior Counsel Benjamin Yu, for the MTR, had told the court there has been “rampant damage” at several MTR stations over the past week, even after an interim injunction was imposed last week. That order was due to expire on Friday.
Yu said the court needed to “send a strong message” to the community that the disruptions are illegal, and have nothing to do with freedom of expression and assembly.
The MTR was granted an interim injunction on August 23 to stop people from “unlawfully and wilfully obstructing or interfering” with its operations, damaging its property, and causing disturbances at its stations.
The court order came after the MTR said there had been cases where its staff were surrounded and verbally abused by protesters. It also said graffiti had been sprayed inside and outside stations, and station facilities were vandalised.
The railway operator has shut stations that are close to planned protest sites in the past week. Those decisions have come in for heavy criticism from protesters, as well as residents who say the closures are a huge inconvenience.
The MTR had earlier faced criticism from state-run media, which accused the corporation of facilitating the recent anti-government protests by running special routes to take protesters and other passengers away during confrontations with police, and leaving their entry gates open.