Hong Kong protests: What is China’s extradition law – why are protestors worried? | World | News


Hong Kong currently has a separate legal system to China but residents now fear a new bill could threaten the municipality’s justice system. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to protest the amendments. Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has signalled the government will see the changes through, but protestors believe it will endanger their right to a fair trial.

What is the China extradition law?

Hong Kong officials plan to make amendments to the existing extradition law which would mean citizens could be extradited to mainland China for trial.

Leaders have argued for the changes on the grounds that they will help Hong Kong uphold its international obligations.

READ MORE: Hong Kong protests: Extradition meaning – what is happening in Hong Kong?

Opponents say defendants in the Chinese judicial system will not have the same rights as in Hong Kong.

The rendition bill has generated vast opposition from normally pro-establishment business people and lawyers to students, pro-democracy figures and religious groups.

Sunday’s protests resulted from weeks of growing tension in the territory.

As well as the protesters, a handful of senior Hong Kong judges have also raised concerns about the changes.

They have highlighted a lack of trust in the mainland courts as well as the limited nature of extradition hearings.

Hong Kong became independent from British rule in 1997 when it was handed back to China.

But Hong Kong maintained some freedom from the mainland including a separate legal system.

Huge crowds of demonstrators took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday and chanted “no China extradition, no evil law.”

They rallied outside the Parliament building and demanded Ms Lam’s resignation.

The march was mainly peaceful but police used pepper spray against protesters after crowds tried to break past police to enter the Legislative Council building.

Teacher Garry Chiu, who was at the protest with his wife and one-year-old daughter, told Sky News: “It is no longer about me. I need to save my daughter.

“If the law is implemented anyone can disappear from Hong Kong.

“No one will get justice in China. We know there is no human rights.”

Riot police surrounded Hong Kong’s parliament on Monday after authorities said they would go ahead with a proposed extradition law.

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