Hong Kong witnessed massive demonstrations after reports came in that the island state was considering enacting a law that would make it legal for suspects to be deported to mainland China if the trial so demands.
According to the police, some 22,000 people took to the streets to protest the proposed new law. However, organizers claim the figure stand much higher, about 1,30,000 who took part in the demonstrations. If not the sheer turnout in the rally, what should also be particularly worrisome for the Chinese authorities is that many of the protesters were seen carrying yellow umbrellas, something that had emerged as a symbol of the massive pro-democracy agitation of 2014.
Protesters have also accused Ms Lam, known for her pro-Beijing stance to have betrayed Hong Kong and called for her immediate removal from her post. The Hong Kong Chief Executive however said the new law would be transparent and would only seek extradition in those cases where the suspect isn’t likely to be sentenced to death, will face torture or has a political case against him or her.
Hong Kong, a former British colony was handed over to China in 1997 on the condition that it would remain an autonomous state with China only dealing with matters related to foreign affairs and defense. The protesters said they would have none of Ms Sam’s arguments on the matter citing China’s dubious human rights records as well as its questionable legal system.
The administration is expecting the new extradition law to be enacted before July to allow a suspected murderer to be deported to Taiwan.