08/02/2019, 11.30
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Extradition law: Civil servants and bank employees join protests

by Paul Wang

Government appeals to "civil servants" for total loyalty to the head of the executive and threatens retaliation. Employees of 34 banks will strike on 5 August. So far, 95 trade unions have joined. Everyone calls for the cancellation of the law and an independent investigation into the excessive use of force by the police.

 

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The extradition law is increasingly uniting the different sections of the population of the territory. This evening civil servants will also hold a demonstration in the center of the island. Meanwhile, bank employees and other unions are preparing for a strike on Monday 5 August.

The organizers of tonight's march, in Chater Garden, expect the participation of at least 2 thousand people. Two important organizations, the association of doctors in public hospitals and that of employees in Hong Kong radio and television, have already signed up. Their demands are similar to those of all the activists and demonstrators of these weeks: cancel the law on extradition and open an independent investigation into the excessive use of force by the police. Even Christian leaders have asked for the same thing.

The law, which the government has now "buried", would allow the extradition of criminal suspects in China, where the judicial system is not respectful of human rights and where torture is practiced to extract "confessions". For the people of Hong Kong, this too much influence of China in the territory would mean the end of the rule of law and the "one country, two systems" principle, which guarantees a liberal system in the former British colony.

Faced with the gigantic demonstrations - which gathered up to over two million people - the police clashed with groups of extremist demonstrators using tear gas, rubber bullets and sticks. They are also suspected of having acted in collaboration with some triads in beating protesters and ordinary people at the Yuen Long subway station.

The state employees' demonstration embarrasses the government, which has called for "total loyalty" to the "head of the executive and today's government". In a statement published yesterday, it threatened the participation in the event in case of "violation of the civil servants' regulations".

Meanwhile, hundreds of employees from at least 34 banks have decided to join the strike set for next week. They include people who work in local banks, international banks and even Chinese state banks.

The unions of the financial world are added to the unions of 95 other social groups in the public and private sectors. Among them are teachers, aircraft pilots, hostesses and stewards, lawyers, artists.

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