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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Malaysia Airlines Crash: Relatives Protest in Beijing.



Angry relatives of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines plane have clashed with police outside Malaysia's embassy in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

It came after Malaysian PM Najib Razak said a new analysis of satellite data showed the plane had ended its journey in remote seas south-west of Australia.
China has asked to see the data on which Malaysia's conclusion was based.
The search for missing flight MH370 has been suspended because of bad weather.

The scenes in Beijing are a demonstration of the extreme levels of anger and frustration felt by relatives of those on the missing plane.
Public street protests are illegal in China but the fact that these relatives were able to organise themselves together, wearing matching T-shirts and carrying professionally printed banners, indicates they feel they have nothing left to lose.
Relatives left their hotel and first boarded three city buses which they said would take them to Malaysia's embassy in downtown Beijing.
But a thin line of Chinese police blocked those buses. So the relatives left the buses, broke through police lines and simply marched to the embassy themselves, chanting slogans like: "We want the truth". Banners read "Mum, Dad, without you what will I do?" and "We want the truth from Malaysia".
Many of the families are convinced that the Malaysian authorities have been distorting facts. Their actions today show they will risk breaking the law and angering the Chinese government in order to get the information they feel they deserve.
A multinational search effort has focused on seas some 2,500km (1,500 miles) to the south-west of the Australian city of Perth.
Flight MH370 disappeared on 8 March as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It was carrying a total of 239 people, including 153 Chinese nationals.
In Beijing, relatives of passengers on board the plane released a statement accusing the Malaysian government of trying to "delay, distort and hide the truth".
Dozens of them then left their Beijing hotel on a protest bound for the Malaysian embassy, carrying banners asking Kuala Lumpur to be truthful with the relatives.
Police stopped their buses from leaving, so they left the buses and walked there themselves, with scuffles then erupting outside the diplomatic mission.
The protesters threw water bottles at the embassy and tried to storm the building, demanding to meet the ambassador.
There was a heavy police presence at the embassy, and there was a brief scuffle between police and a group of relatives who tried to approach journalists, according to the Associated Press news agency.
The families also appear to be becoming more critical of the Chinese authorities themselves, the BBC's Celia Hatton reports from Beijing.
While some defended the authorities, other relatives shouted slogans denouncing the Chinese government as "corrupt", she reports.

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