Thousands of protesters gather outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on 12 June 2019.  
Thousands of protesters gather outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on 12 June 2019.   (Photo: AP/Vincent Yu)  
  • 1. Why Are They Protesting?
  • 2. What Does the Bill Say?
  • 3. What Is Hong Kong's Relationship With the Mainland?
  • 4. Have Freedoms in Hong Kong Been Eroding?
  • 5. What's Next for the Extradition Bill?
Hong Kong Protesters Brave Tear Gas & Police Violence: Here’s Why

Thousands of protesters blocked entry to Hong Kong’s government headquarters on Wednesday, 12 June, delaying a debate over a legislative proposal that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China. The protest, which follows a weekend demonstration that drew hundreds of thousands of people opposed to the extradition amendments, reflects growing apprehension about relations with the Communist Party-ruled mainland.

Here’s a closer look at the issue:

  • 1. Why Are They Protesting?

    Thousands of protesters gather outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on 12 June 2019.  
    Riot police fire tear gas to protesters outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on 12 June 2019.  
    (Photo: AP/Vincent Yu)  

    Opponents of the proposed extradition amendments say the changes would significantly compromise the territory's legal independence, long viewed as one of the key differences between Hong Kong and mainland China.

    Critics believe the legislation would put Hong Kong residents at risk of being entrapped in China’s murky judicial system, in which political opponents have been charged with economic crimes or ill-defined national security transgressions.

    Opponents say once charged, the suspects may face unfair proceedings in a system where the vast majority of criminal trials end in conviction.

    The legislation's opponents include members of legal, business and human rights organisations, as well as scores of ordinary citizens who cherish Hong Kong's reputation for the rule of law.

    Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, has said that safeguards have been added to the legislation to ensure human rights are protected.

    Also Read : Hong Kong to Push Ahead With Bill That Sparked Huge Protest  

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