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10.06.2019 Europe

Hong Kong leader pushes ahead with extradition bill despite protests

By RFI
REUTERS/Jason Lee
JUN 10, 2019 EUROPE

Hong Kong's leader of government vowed on Monday to proceed with a controversial law allowing extraditions to the Chinese mainland, despite an estimated one million people marching against it.

Carrie Lam told reporters the law was necessary, promising that human rights would be safeguarded.

“Nobody wants Hong Kong to be a fugitive offenders haven,” she said. "This is a very important piece of legislation that will help to uphold justice and also ensure that Hong Kong will fulfil her international obligations in terms of cross-boundary and transnational crimes."

Critics say the law will allow China to target political opponents.

Sunday's peaceful protest through the city centre descended into violence when several hundred protesters clashed with police, who responded with pepper spray.

While organisers say a million people took part in the march, police put the figure at 240,000. Chinese state media said "foreign forces" were behind the protests.

Debate on the law will resume in parliament on Wednesday.

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