Hong Kong leader unmoved by anti-extradition protests

Jun 10, 2019, 2:08 AM EDT
(Source: etan liam/flickr)
(Source: etan liam/flickr)

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday vowed to press ahead with a controversial extradition bill, which would allow suspects to be transferred to mainland China, even as an estimated one million people took to the streets opposing the proposed legislation over the weekend.

Critics fear that such a law would hand China another tool of exploitation in the semi-autonomous territory and could be used to target political opponents and dissenting voices, notes the BBC. The Hong Kong authorities say the bill “wasn’t initiated by China” and would not encroach on the city’s judicial system or the special freedoms its enjoys.

The Hong Kong administration argues that the bill is necessary to plug legal loopholes in the judicial system and preventing the city from becoming a safe haven for criminals, reports The Guardian. Martin Lee QC, a prominent figure of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, said more of such protest marches could be expected if the government refuses to address the concerns of local people.