06/12/2019, 09.45
HONG KONG - CHINA
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The Legco postpones debate on China extradition law

by Paul Wang

Thousands of people - mostly young people - have gathered in front of the parliament since yesterday evening to express their opposition to the law. Prayer vigils and morning prayers also in the cathedral. It is feared that the young will block the streets of the center with a huge sit-in, as in the days of Occupy Central.

 

 

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The Hong Kong parliament (Legco) decided late this morning, to postpone the discussion of the extradition to China law, while tens of thousands of people , mostly young people, gathered around the Legco buildings and in the center demanding the cancellation of the proposed bill (photos 1 and 2).

At present, many young people are building barriers, accumulating bricks, equipped with swimming goggles and umbrellas (photo 3) to defend themselves against possible police attacks. Some legislators fear that the situation will become a new version of Occupy Central, when in 2014, the main streets of the center of the island were blocked by a huge sit-in that lasted over two months. Then the problem was that the Hong Kong government was not listening to the population's demands for democracy.

A demonstration against the proposed norm was held three days ago, the most impressive since 1997, the year of the territory's return to China, which gathered over a million participants.

The population fears that with the law ("urgently" desired by Beijing), the suspects transferred to China would not have certainty of a fair trial and respect for their basic human rights, given the dependence of the Chinese courts on the will of the Communist Party. Furthermore, it is feared that the law could be used by China to stop and seize dissidents and people who publicaly express different opinions to Beijing.

In response to the gigantic demonstration, the chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, reiterated her intention to go ahead with the passing of the law. The diocese of Hong Kong had also asked the government to suspend the discussion and listen to the concerns of the population.

The protesters have been preparing since last night, camping in front of the Legco. In several churches - even in the cathedral - prayer vigils and morning prayers were held (photo 4), as well as before the Legco. 

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