۲۴۵۴۳بازدید
Hong Kong media reported on Saturday the city's government would suspend a proposed law on extradition to mainland China that sparked widespread anger and violent protests, with leader Carrie Lam planning to address reporters later in the day.
کد خبر: ۹۰۵۵۳۳
تاریخ انتشار: ۲۵ خرداد ۱۳۹۸ - ۰۸:۵۱ 15 June 2019

Hong Kong media reported on Saturday the city's government would suspend a proposed law on extradition to mainland China that sparked widespread anger and violent protests, with leader Carrie Lam planning to address reporters later in the day.

Hundreds of mothers holding placards, some of which read "If we lose the young generation, what's left of Hong Kong", and lit smartphones protest against the amendments to the extradition law in Hong Kong.

Support for the extradition bill began to crumble on Friday with several pro-Beijing politicians and a senior advisor to Lam saying discussion of the bill should be shelved for the time being.

The extradition bill, which will cover Hong Kong residents and foreign and Chinese nationals living or travelling in the city, has many concerned it may threaten the rule of law that underpins Hong Kong's international financial status.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched through Hong Kong last Sunday to protest the bill, and street demonstrations through the week were met with tear gas and rubber bullets from police, plunging the city into turmoil and piling heavy pressure on Lam. Another protest is planned for this Sunday.

Hong Kong's iCable, the South China Morning Post and Sing Tao newspaper all reported that the bill would be suspended on Saturday. TVB and iCable said Lam would hold a news conference on Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds of mothers protest against the amendments to the extradition law in Hong Kong.

Hundreds of mothers protest against the amendments to the extradition law in Hong Kong.CREDIT:AP

Calls to Lam's office went unanswered outside of business hours. Lam has not appeared in public or commented since Wednesday.

Backing down from efforts to drive the bill through the city's legislature by July would have been unthinkable last week when the law's passage seemed inevitable as Lam remained defiant.

Lam has said the extradition law is necessary to prevent criminals using Hong Kong as a place to hide and that human rights will be protected by the city's court which will decide on a case-by-case basis extraditions.

Opponents, including leading lawyers and rights groups, say China's justice system, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party, is marked by torture and forced confessions, arbitrary detention and poor access to lawyers.

Last Sunday's protest in the former British colony was the biggest political demonstration since its return to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" deal. The agreement guarantees Hong Kong's special autonomy, including freedom of assembly, free press and independent judiciary.

Many accuse China of extensive meddling since then, including obstruction of democratic reforms, interference with elections and of being behind the disappearance of five Hong Kong-based booksellers, starting in 2015, who specialised in works critical of Chinese leaders.

Many in Hong Kong fear the measures would undermine the former British colony's legal autonomy. As of Friday afternoon, more than 30,000 people had signed a petition protesting the use of force by police during violent clashes with protesters on Wednesday.

More than 1000 people joined a peaceful "mother's protest" Friday evening in a downtown garden. Speakers at the rally called for Lam to step down while authorities braced for more protests over the weekend.

The extradition bill has spooked some of Hong Kong's tycoons to start moving their personal wealth offshore, according to financial advisers, bankers and lawyers familiar with the details.

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