Chief Executive of Hong Kong Lam wants to meet the student union of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, but the union turned the invitation down saying they think the leader is not "sincere" and they want a open-door meeting.

In this July 3, 2019, file photo, damage to the Legislative Council following a break-in by protesters is seen during a media tour in Hong Kong.
In this July 3, 2019, file photo, damage to the Legislative Council following a break-in by protesters is seen during a media tour in Hong Kong. (AP)

Student unions from two Hong Kong universities said Friday that they have turned down invitations from city leader Carrie Lam for talks about the recent unrest over her proposal to allow the extradition of suspects to mainland China.

The invitations followed a pledge by Lam to do a better job of listening to the voices of young people.

Student leaders said at a news conference that they do not think Lam is being sincere. Her office invited them to closed-door meetings, but the students said any meeting should be public and include a wider representation.

Students there repeated the opposition’s request in recent weeks to investigate alleged police brutality against protesters, whom they said Lam should stop labelling "rioters". 

Introducing genuine universal suffrage was also on the list of demands.

Young people have taken the lead in protesting against the extradition legislation, which many see as a threat to the rights guaranteed to Hong Kong under the "one country, two systems" framework that governs the Chinese territory.

First charges 

Meanwhile, a Hong Kong street artist was charged on Friday with assaulting a police officer and criminal damage, the first prosecution against an anti-government protester since the city was rocked by unprecedented demonstrations.

Authorities have vowed to hunt those behind the unrest that has plunged the semi-autonomous city’s Beijing-backed government into crisis. 

Pun Ho-chiu, 31, appeared in court on Friday over his alleged involvement in the blockade of the city’s police headquarters on 21 June. 

He was also charged with disorderly behaviour for throwing eggs at police outside the headquarters during the six-hour siege.

Demand for Lam's resignation

Protesters stormed the local parliament on Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese rule. This followed mass demonstrations last month against Lam’s extradition bill, which critics fear could see Hong Kong citizens being sent for trial in the mainland.

Lam said she has paused efforts to push for the bill, but protesters say that stops short of a full withdrawal.

Lam, who was appointed as Hong Kong's leader by a committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites, suspended the legislation indefinitely after a huge march against it on June 9 and then a June 12 protest that blocked access to the legislature and nearby streets.

The demonstrations have continued though, with protesters demanding further Lam's resignation, the release of dozens arrested after the protests and an independent investigation into a police crackdown on the June 12 protest that included tear gas and rubber bullets.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies