August 22, 2019
Latest News

Hong Kong postpones second reading of controversial extradition bill

Hong Kong, June 13 (efe-epa).- The Hong Kong Legislative Council on Thursday postponed for the second consecutive day a session in which the second reading of the highly contentious extradition bill was expected to be held.

"The President of the Legislative Council has decided that the Council meeting of 12 June 2019 will not be held today (13 June). Announcement will be made once the President determines the time of the meeting," LegCo said in a statement on its website.

This announcement comes after tens of thousands of people showed up outside the headquarters of the Hong Kong legislature on Wednesday demanding the withdrawal of the extradition bill.

The huge protests were finally dispersed by the police using batons, tear gas and rubber bullets with 72 left wounded, including two in critical condition.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the protesters attacked police by throwing bricks and using iron bars in what she considered to be a blatant, organized riot.

Hong Kong government offices will remain closed Thursday and Friday due to security concerns, and the Admiralty Metro Station - closest to the government headquarters - will not be operational on Thursday.

In addition, several streets in the area remain cut off by police, and a nearby shopping mall has announced it will be closed Thursday.

The proposed law has run into opposition across a broad social spectrum from students to entrepreneurs who have expressed concern about the risk that Hong Kong residents accused of crimes could be extradited to mainland China, owing to the lack of real separation of powers or control mechanisms.

The Hong Kong government insisted that the bill attempts to amend a loophole, that several safeguards have been included, and that local courts would review cases individually and can use veto power to prevent certain extraditions.

However, opponents also fear that under the new law, local activists, journalists critical of China and Chinese dissidents residing in Hong Kong may also be sent to the mainland to be tried.

msc-jt/sp/tw

Related content

Hong Kong government offices to remain closed for security reasons

Hong Kong, China, Jun 13 (efe-epa).- Government offices in Hong Kong will remain closed on Thursday and Friday for security reasons, a day after the police dispersed massive protests against a controversial extradition bill in the former British colony.

"Due to security reason, the Central Government Offices (CGO) will be temporarily closed today and tomorrow (June 13 and 14)," the Hong Kong government said on its website on Thursday.

"Staff working in the CGO should not go to the workplace and should work in accordance with the contingency plans of their respective bureaux or departments. All visits to the CGO will be postponed or cancelled," it added.

Public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong reported Thursday that trains would not stop at Admiralty station, the closest stop to the government offices, at the request of the local police deployed in the area, the heart of Wednesday's protests.

Some streets in the area remained closed by the police early on Thursday, according to the broadcaster.

RTHK also reported that the nearby Pacific Place mall will not open on Thursday amid fears of fresh protests by those opposing the extradition bill, which could allow Beijing access to "fugitives" in Hong Kong.

Early Thursday, the police began removing the barricades placed by the protesters in the streets and which had obstructed traffic.

The police resorted to the use of pepper sprays and rubber bullets to disperse protesters on Wednesday, which left 72 people hospitalized, two of them in serious condition, out of which 41 have already been discharged, according to health officials cited by the local media.

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the demonstrators "used arson, sharpened iron bars and bricks" to attack the police.

In an interview, reported by local media late Wednesday, Lam described the protesters as "organizing a riot."

“Clearly, this was no longer a peaceful assembly, but a blatantly organised instigation of a riot. This could not be an act that shows love for Hong Kong," Lam said in an interview with the TVB channel, during which she appeared to be on the verge of tears.

Democratic Party lawyer James To-Kun accused Lam of shedding "crocodile tears", saying she had ignored public opinion on the bill, which was evident in the massive protests on Sunday, in which over a million people took part, although police put the figure at 240,000.

Several international human rights organizations also urged the police against excessive use of force to break up the protests.

msc-jt/pd/ses

News history
4 dead, 100-plus injured by lightning in Poland

Warsaw, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Four people, including two children, died on Thursday and more than 100 were injured by lightning strikes during a thunderstorm...

Italy's president gives parties more time to form gov't

Rome, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- President Sergio Mattarella said Thursday that he will give Italy's political parties until early next week to try to form a new...

Brazil's president doubles down on criticism of NGOs operating in Amazon

Brasilia, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- President Jair Bolsonaro said Thursday that while he did not have evidence that non-governmental organizations were behind the...

Giraffes get protection on international trade for 1st time

Geneva, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Giraffes were added on Thursday for the first time to a protection mechanism that restricts their international trade in response...

Rohingyas refuse to return to Myanmar

Teknaf, Bangladesh, Aug 22 (EFE).- A second attempt to repatriate some 1,037 Rohingya refugee families who live in Bangladesh following a mass exodus from...

Protect Paradise, the hope to end plastic pollution in Venezuelan beaches

By Héctor Pereira

Hong Kong gov't: protesters ad campaign gross exaggeration

Hong Kong, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- A campaign launched by Hong Kong activists to rally international support for anti-Beijing protests that have gripped the city...

Macron: Irish backstop indispensable

Paris, Aug 22 (efe-epa) .- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Emmanuel Macron in France Thursday for Brexit talks during which the French President...

North Korea not interested in talks amid 'military threats'

Seoul, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- North Korea said Thursday that it was not interested in dialog while the United States and South Korea were engaged in "military...

Still unsafe for Rohingyas to return to Myanmar, Amnesty warns

Bangkok Desk, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- Human rights organization Amnesty International warned Thursday that it was still unsafe for members of the Rohingya ethnic...

Police killings of civilians reaches new heights in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Rio de Janeiro recorded a 49 percent increase in civilian deaths at the hands of police in July compared to the...

Nur-Sultan, Aug 21 (EFE).- The foreign ministers of the five Central Asian countries met here Wednesday with US Under Secretary of State David Hale to...

Putin says Russia must respond to threat of new US missile

Helsinki, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Russian President Vladimir Putin made an appeal here Wednesday to the United States to resume arms-control negotiations even as...

Czechs denounce current leaders during rally to mark 1969 crackdown

Prague, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Tens of thousands of Czechs held a demonstration here Wednesday in which they remembered countrymen who were killed or injured on...

Merkel, Johnson maintain stances on Brexit but say exit accord possible

Berlin, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday maintained their respective stances on...

Children's chorus revitalizing indigenous language in Panamanian capital

By Maria M. Mur

Brazil's president points finger at NGOs in Amazon fires

Brasilia, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- President Jair Bolsonaro insinuated on Wednesday that non-governmental organizations may be behind the fires in the Amazon, the...

Kathmandu, Aug 21 (EFE).- Nepal will make the Everest region a plastic-free zone by 2020 by banning single-use plastics, a move that will curb excessive...

Death toll in Kabul wedding bombing rises to 80

Kabul, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- The death toll following an attack on a wedding party in the Afghan capital Kabul has gone up to 80, police sources said on...

Bilateral deal reached on Mexican tomato exports to US

Mexico City, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- A bilateral agreement has been reached on Mexican tomato exports that will bring a halt to a United States anti-dumping...

Hong Kong activists demand release of arrested UK consulate worker

Hong Kong, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- A group of Hong Kong citizens demonstrated outside the British Consulate Wednesday afternoon urging the British government to...

Nepal bans single-use plastics in Everest region

Kathmandu, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Nepal will make the Everest region a plastic-free zone by 2020 by banning single-use plastics, a move that will curb excessive...

Fresh attempt to repatriate Rohingya refugees evokes skepticism

By Carlos Sardina Galache

Indonesia deploys troops in Papua as pro-independence protests surge

Jakarta, Aug 21 (efe-epa).- Indonesian armed forces on Wednesday deployed more personnel in the provinces of Papua and West Papua to contain ongoing...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.