Carrie Lam: Protests pushing Hong Kong "into an abyss"
In a press conference, the head of the executive continues to defend her work and that of the police. Appeal amid tears: Restore order; then dialogue. Even the police defend themselves, accused of too much violence. In one day, the anti-extradition movement raises funds of 15 million Hong Kong dollars. Airport reopened.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The head of the Hong Kong executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has warned the demonstrators that the protests which have been crippling the territory for over two months are pushing it "into an abyss". She mentioned above all the occupation of the airport, which yesterday was forced to close, and the assaults on the police headquarters, after the violence exercised by the police.
Carrie Lam met with journalists this morning, before a meeting with the Executive Council, which broke the summer break two weeks early to address the situation on the ground.
Holding back the tears, and addressing the demonstrators directly, she said: "Let’s set aside differences and spend one minute to look at our city and our home. Could we bear to push it into an abyss where everything will perish?"
For the Lam it is now important "to object to violence and maintain the rule of law ... When this all calms down, we will start to have sincere dialogues and rebuild harmony.”
Pressed by journalists if she visited the woman who, struck by a police bullet, could lose an eye, Carrie Lam replied: "In due course I will do it".
When asked if she had the authority to permanently cancel the extradition law, or if she was somehow blocked by Beijing, Lam assured him that she had all the "confidence" of the central government.
The head of the executive once again ruled out the launch of an independent investigation into the excessive use of force by police on protesters, as requested by the anti-extradition movement for two months. Lam has strongly defended the work of the police, saying that they "must make choices and sometimes it is difficult", adding that the police must apply the law.
The police also held a press conference in which the spokesmen defended their method of struggle, including disguising themselves as protesters and arresting the most violent, or firing non-lethal bullets up close. Their actions have received a lot of criticism after they fired dozens of tear gas at the Kwai Fong subway station two days ago, turning the environment into a "gas chamber".
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong airport is back to work, even if there is a sit-in of demonstrators and if some flights are still canceled.
Yesterday the movement launched an online collection of funds to support a campaign of announcements in international newspapers, which accuses the Hong Kong police of "war crimes" and the use of "chemical weapons". In one day over 15 million Hong Kong dollars (1.71 million euros) were collected.