Hong Kong protests to continue despite withdrawal of extradition bill

Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam has agreed to one of the main demands of the long-running protest movement.

She has announced the withdrawal of an extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

However, protesters vowed to keep on demonstrating even after leader Carrie Lam attempted to defuse weeks of political chaos by formally withdrawing a controversial extradition bill.

The withdrawal comes more than two months after Lam first suspended the legislation in mid-June following record-breaking marches in Hong Kong that drew as many as two million people.

While Lam promised the bill was officially dead on Wednesday, the feeling among many protesters was her actions were too little, too late.

Many pledged to continue taking to the streets until their five demands are met, including that Lam step down and for the government to initiate an independent commission into police violence.

Police brutality became a major focus of protesters’ ire over the past two months as security forces have fired rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, and water cannon on protesters while more than 1,000 people have been arrested, including children as young as age 12.

While Lam has promised police tactics will be reviewed, she said it will occur under the Independent Police Complaints Council, a body within the Hong Kong Police Force – as opposed to an independent inquiry.

Protesters also demand complete autonomy of Hong Kong, and powers to choose their leader rather than Beijing appointing appointing someone.

The divisive bill would have allowed for Hong Kong residents to stand trial in mainland China and stoked fears in the former British colony that it was losing its autonomy promised until 2047 under the “one country, two systems” agreement when London handed over control to Beijing in 1997.

Source : Various