International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

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Worldwide Alerts

The following alerts are based on ISA's direct observation, U.S. Department of State recommendations, Overseas Security Advisory Council, WHO reports, and expert consultation.

Spain

Wednesday December 17, 2014 14:31 CST

During the evening of December 16th, 2014, protests took place in Barcelona and Madrid. These protests were concerning the arrests of 11 people suspected of committing anarchist-related attacks in Spain within the last two years. No incidents of violence at the protest were reported in Madrid, but arrests were made. In Barcelona, security forces were implemented and there were clashes between protesters and police. Protesters threw missiles at police and vandalized local buildings. There were no injuries reported during either demonstration. ISA has informed students of the potential for these gatherings, and reminded students that the ISA Code of Conduct prohibits participation in such demonstrations. We will continue to monitor the situation, and make recommendations to our students as needed.

Australia

Monday, December 15th, 2014

At approximately 2:48 a.m. local time on Tuesday morning, Sydney police confirmed that the sixteen hour siege of the Lindt Chocolate Cafe ended. The gunmen was reported dead, along with two other unidentified individuals. Sydney transportation has resumed normal operations, but certain areas in the Central Business Distrcit may continue to remain closed until the authorities announce otherwise. ISA on-site staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students as needed.

Monday, December 15th, 2014

On Monday December 15th a security incident occurred in the Central Business District of Sydney, when at least one armed offender reportedly took an unconfirmed number of people hostage at a Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place. Local and federal police have cleared the surrounding areas and are addressing the threat. At the time of this posting, no motivation for the hostage situation has been identified. ISA students have been advised to avoid the Central Business District and stay vigilant. Students have also been advised that minor disruptions to transportation may occur and to plan accordingly. The ISA on-site staff will continue to monitor the situation and inform students of any developments.

China

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

On Tuesday, November 25th, Hong Kong deployed approximately 4,000 police officers to assist in removing protesters and barricades from Mong Kok under court injunction. Protesters and police continue to clash and arrests are being made. All classes are proceeding as scheduled and all ISA students are safe and accounted for. ISA resident staff continue to monitor the situation and advise students to avoid all protest areas.

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

On Tuesday, November 18th dozens of protesters attempted to force entry into the Hong Kong Legislative Council, leading to a violent clash with authorities early Wednesday morning. Six people have been arrested in connection to the incident and police are continuing efforts to clear roads for traffic and business. All ISA students are safe and accounted for, and resident staff continue to advise students to avoid all protest areas. ISA staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On Monday, November 10th, 2014 Hong Kong's high court ruled to give police authority to remove barricades and pro-democracy protesters in the Mong Kok district. Clashes with police escalated last week in protest sites and, as of today, police will begin enforcing the removal of protesters from specific areas. All ISA students are safe and accounted for, and resident staff continue to advise students to avoid all protest areas. ISA staff will continue to monitor the situation and advise students accordingly.

Monday, October 6th, 2014

On October 4th, 2014 the U.S. Embassy issued a security message to citizens in Hong Kong, alerting them to violent clashes between Occupy and anti-Occupy protesters. Tensions were high but have subsided and protests remain largely peaceful. Protesters dwindled this morning as government buildings and commerce resumed as normal in the main protest areas. All ISA students are safe and attending classes as normal. They have been notified not to visit protest areas and ISA staff will keep them informed of any changes to the situation.

Monday, September 29, 2014

On the evening of Sunday, September 28th, police in Hong Kong began a crackdown against pro-democracy protesters in the Central and Admiralty districts. Police have been using tear gas to disperse protesters and injuries have been reported. All ISA students are safe and accounted for. ISA has advised students to stay away from the affected districts and to avoid any areas where protests are taking place, especially at night. Protests are expected to escalate on October 1st due to China's National Day. ISA is continuously monitoring the situation and will advise students in Hong Kong accordingly with any new developments.

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For further information, please refer to ISA's Health and Safety section, particularly the information regarding the monitoring of world-wide security levels.