06/08/2019, 19.22
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Hong Kong, 'half a million people' marching against forced extradition

This is the hope expressed today by the organizers.  The protest is scheduled for tomorrow, despite some violent clashes that have seen the authorities take center stage today.

 

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Half a million people marching against the controversial law on forced extradition, a decree wanted "urgently" by Beijing.  This is the hope expressed today by the organizers, members of the Hong Kong civil and human rights associations.  Which at the same time condemn the attacks on the police that took place last Friday during the lawyers' march against the law, and strongly deny any involvement.

In the association of lawyers there are members who think that the new law will serve for political persecution within the same territory of Hong Kong, suppressing freedom of speech.

In recent years, even without the law, five publishers who published critical books on Chinese leadership were kidnapped and arrested in China.  Another fact that worries democrats and lawyers is that the Chinese courts, in cases involving life imprisonment and the death penalty, have the discretion to investigate even more than 20 years after the case.

If it were possible to reach the goal of half a million protesters, it would touch the record of July 1, 2003, when 500,000 people took to the streets against the plan to approve the law on national security in the former territory.  Even in that case, the provision gave too much power to the Chinese authorities.

The mobilization also passes through the internet.  About 500 online petitions call for the repeal of the decree and the "non-discussion" of the text within the Legislative Council, the Hong Kong mini-government.  Tens of thousands of people have signed the request, and on the forums there is much discussion about the opportunity to "surrender" again in front of Beijing.

Hong Kong has a long democratic tradition, initially imposed by the British rulers and then welded into the social fabric.  In the Territory the greatest and most significant forms of opposition to the communist government of mainland China took place over the decades.  The Basic Law - Constitution left by the British in 1997, the year of Hong Kong's return to Beijing - allows the inhabitants 50 years of democracy.  But these laws, very many object on social media, "are strangling the last glimmers of democracy and independence".

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