PV International Desk : Sporting T-shirts, tusslled hair and backpacks, the trio slumped around a cafeteria table in the Taipei airport looked more like stranded students than a group of protesters on the run.

A few nights before, they were hurling Molotov cocktails on the front lines of the anti-government protests that have roiled Hong Kong for months. But after police arrested two of their friends, they feared they would be next.

Desperate, they sent a cry for assistance to a private online group known for helping people escape to Taiwan. Within hours, they were on a plane to Taipei, the capital.

“We are fleeing the law,” said one of the protesters, her eyes darting across the food court. “We didn’t have much time to figure out what is happening.