Hong Kong Police Reportedly Fire Tear Gas at Extradition Bill Protesters

Police in Hong Kong fired rounds of tear gas at protesters who en masse took to the streets to rally against the now-suspended notorious bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China and demand an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality when dispersing last month’s rally, local media reported on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, police warned it would launch a counteraction to disperse the protesters, totalling 430,000 according to march organiser Civil Human Rights Front and 138,000 according to the police. A group of demonstrators reportedly split off from the main rally and marched beyond the designated finish line of the rally route, ignoring police orders.

The skirmish and tense stand-off as police tried to line up against the protesters on Connaught Road Central prompted the law enforcement officers to fire several rounds of tear gas at them, the South China Morning Post newspaper said.

Mass rallies erupted in Hong Kong in early June as the authorities were considering adopting a bill that would allow the autonomous Chinese city to extradite suspects to jurisdictions with which it did not have an extradition agreement, including mainland China.

Pressured by the protests, the government indefinitely suspended the bill, while Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam issued a public apology. However, the protesters still demand the complete withdrawal of the extradition amendments.

Hong Kong has traditionally enjoyed significant autonomy from China, with legislative structures and economic policymaking independent of Beijing.

Source: News Agencies