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Hong Kong indefinitely suspends proposed extradition bill

  • 15 Jun 2019

Lam told media Saturday she took the move in response to widespread public unhappiness over the measure, which would enable authorities to send some suspects to stand trial in mainland courts.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a news conference in Hong Kong, China, June 15, 2019. ( Reuters )

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Saturday she will suspend a proposed extradition bill indefinitely.

Lam told media Saturday she took the move in response to widespread public unhappiness over the measure, which would enable authorities to send some suspects to stand trial in mainland courts.

Many in the former British colony were worried it will further erode cherished legal protections and freedoms promised by Beijing when it took control in 1997.

A mass protest over the issue was planned for Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents took to the streets in earlier demonstrations. Protests turned violent on Wednesday, adding to pressures on Lam to back down.

As criticism mounted and signs emerged of a growing discomfort among party leaders in Beijing, local media in Hong Kong earlier reported that Lam's administration was planning to announce some sort of climbdown as it tries to find its way out of the political crisis.

The SCMP said Lam held an emergency meeting on Friday night with her advisers while Chinese officials were also meeting in the nearby city of Shenzhen to map a way out of the impasse.

TRT World's Arabella Munro reports. 

Hong Kong leadership meets as protests loom

Prior to her announcement, Hong Kong's chief executive met with her Executive Council as pressure mounts for her to delay or withdraw an unpopular extradition bill.

Some Executive Council members have urged Lam to suspend debate on the bill, which would allow Hong Kong suspects to be tried in mainland China.

Another mass protest was expected Sunday after clashes turned violent on Wednesday, leaving about 80 people injured including 22 police officers.

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