Extradition

Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadline

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said Tuesday a highly controversial extradition bill will proceed to the legislature for debate after the territory’s largest protests in at least a decade filled the streets to oppose the legislation. In the protest that reflected the semi-autonomous territory’s growing apprehension about relations with the Communist Party-ruled mainland, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets Sunday to protest the bill that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China. The full legislature is scheduled to resume debate on the amendments on Wednesday, and a vote is expected this month. The government has considered concerns from the private sector and altered the bill to improve human rights safeguards, Lam said. Speaking to reporters before a regular meeting of her cabinet, Lam emphasized that extradition cases would be decided by Hong Kong courts — not the chief executive. “Even the chief executive could not overrule the court, to say that because (a country) wants this offender, I will surrender,” Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said, adding that such a scenario would be impossible, because Hong Kong’s chief executive is not above the law. Lawyer and member of Lam’s administration advisory committee Ronny Tong Ka-wah said Sunday’s protest showed a lack of trust in Hong Kong’s administration, partly because Lam was picked by Beijing and not elected by popular vote. However, China’s patience with Hong Kong’s demands has its limits, Tong added. “We need to gain the trust and confidence of Beijing so theyContinue reading

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Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadlines

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam vowed on Monday to push ahead with amendments to laws allowing suspects to be extradited to mainland China a day after the city’s biggest protest since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Riot police ringed Hong Kong’s legislature and fought back a hardcore group of several hundred protesters who stayed behind early on Monday after Sunday’s peaceful march that organisers said drew more than a million people, or one in seven of the city’s people. “I don’t think it is (an) appropriate decision for us now to pull out of this bill because of the very important objectives that this bill is intended to achieve,” a sombre Carrie Lam told reporters while flanked by security and justice chiefs. “While we will continue to do the communication and explanation there is very little merit to be gained to delay the bill. It will just cause more anxiety and divisiveness in society.” The protests plunged Hong Kong into political crisis, just as months of pro-democracy “Occupy” demonstrations did in 2014, heaping pressure on Lam’s administration and her official backers in Beijing. Chants echoed through the high-rise city streets on Sunday calling on her to quit. “Extradite yourself, Carrie!,” one placard read. The rendition bill has generated unusually broad opposition, from normally pro-establishment businesspeople and lawyers to students, pro-democracy figures and religious groups who fear further erosion of Hong Kong’s legal autonomy and the difficulty of ensuring even basic judicial protections in mainland China. BritainContinue reading

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