Hong Kong Legislative Council Delays Debate on Extradition Bill For Second Day

Hong Kong Legislative Council Delays Debate on Extradition Bill
Protesters display placards during a demonstration against a controversial extradition law proposal in Hong Kong on June 13, 2019. - Asian markets fell again on June 13 with Hong Kong suffering a second straight day of heavy losses as investors fret over the impact of protests in the city and plans to introduce a controversial law allowing extradition to China. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
BY EPOCH TIMES STAFF

According to an exclusive report from South China Morning Post, there have now been two arrests confirmed from the June 12 protests for rioting.

The individuals were arrested at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kowloon where they had presented themselves to medical staff for injuries sustained during the clash with police.

News of the arrests came after police chief Stephen Lo Wai-chung called the altercations between protesters and police on Wednesday afternoon a “riot.”

Update: June 13, 12:33 a.m EDT

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) has just cancelled its full council meeting for Thursday, June 13, after protesters gathered for a second day around the LegCo building in Admiralty to protest the government’s extradition bill.

Hong Kong media reported that a few thousand people had gathered on roads near the LegCo building in anticipation of the legislative session.

The cancellation was announced by Andrew Leung, the pro-Beijing head of LegCo, in a council press release.

The announcement stated, “the Council meeting of June 12, 2019, will not be held today (June 13).” It added that Leung will make another announcement after he decides the time of a replacement meeting.

Some protesters at Tamar Park, which is located next to the council building, packed up and left upon hearing that the debate was postponed.

Prior to the LegCo’s cancellation announcement, several lawmakers of the pan-democracy camp held a press conference condemning how Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam had called the protests “organized riots,” according to Hong Kong radio broadcaster 881903.com.

Hu Chi-wai, the current chairman of the Democratic Party, said Lam’s remarks reminded him of what happened in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1989.

Leung Yiu-chung, a member of the pro-democracy Neighborhood and Worker’s Service Center and part of the pan-democracy camp, spoke of an incidence during the June 12 protests, when unnamed police officers snatched saline water away from the hands of EMT personnel, preventing the medical staff from providing care to protestors. Leung Yiu-chung called such police action “inhumane.”

One day earlier, tens of thousands of people had joined another peaceful mass protest outside the council building, hoping to make a final plea with lawmakers to drop the bill before its second reading in the council, which is controlled by a pro-Beijing majority.

About of violence broke out hours into the protest, around 3 p.m. local time, when local police outside the government headquarters began using pepper spray against protestors who had tried to cross the police line. Some protesters threw plastic bottles at police.

Police then fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators.

According to onsite reporters from the Hong Kong bureau of The Epoch Times, Lam Cheuk-ting, a Democratic Party politician who was at the scene, was hit by police with pepper spray.

The number of protesters injured on June 12 increased from 72 to 79, according to Hong Kong’s public radio broadcaster RTHK. Their ages range from 15 to 66.

Currently, two of the injured are in critical condition at the Queen Mary Hospital. Another 64 have been discharged from various hospitals.

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Protestors hold up signs in protest against a proposed extradition bill at the Citic Bridge in Hong Kong on June 13, 2019. (Li Yi/The Epoch Times)
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Police officers in riot gear at the Citic Bridge in Hong Kong on June 13, 2019. (Li Yi/The Epoch Times)

Update: 7:03 p.m. EDT

Over 200 members from Hong Kong’s Election Committee have called on the Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to step down hours after she made a televised appearance vowing to press ahead with the controversial extradition bill.

According to Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao, members of the committee that elected Lam to the city’s top leadership position in 2017 expressed disappointment that she ignored public opinion, as over 1 million protesters—about 1 in every 7 Hong Kongers—had taken to the streets to oppose the bill on the weekend.

The 208 committee members who signed their names to the statement represent 17 percent of the near-1200-member committee.

Earlier Lam turned tearful in a television interview with Hong Kong broadcaster TVB, in which she admitted that the bill was controversial, but said she had “sacrificed” a lot for the city.

Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun, however, said that Lam was shedding “crocodile tears,” the Hong Kong Free Press reported.

Hong Kong police said 72 people were injured, with two in critical condition, after local protests escalated on June 12, according to local media.

Tens of thousands had gathered peacefully outside the city’s legislature in protest of a controversial extradition bill that would allow mainland China to seek extradition of suspects wanted by the Chinese regime.

WARNING: The following video contains disturbing footage

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Police officers in riot gear at the Citic Bridge in Hong Kong on June 13, 2019. (Li Yi/The Epoch Times)

The proposed amendments have drawn opposition from across all sectors of Hong Kong society. Opponents say the bill could allow the Chinese Communist Party to charge and extradite with impunity, jeopardizing the city’s autonomy.

Around 3 p.m. local time, the scene descended into chaos after some protesters attempted to break the police line. Local police used pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets, and bean bags in an attempt to remove protestors from the streets.

The Hong Kong government said debate on the bill that was due to take place at the city’s Legislative Council (LegCo) on June 12 would be delayed until further notice. The LegCo is controlled by a pro-Beijing majority; the bill is thus likely to pass if it proceeds. LegCo head Andrew Leung has vowed to fast-track the bill and bring it to a vote on June 20.\

LIVE UPDATES: Hong Kong Legislative Council Delays Debate on Extradition Bill For Second Day 5
Hong Kong police fired off tear gas at the protesters on June 12. (The Epoch Times)
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Protesters retreated to the street near the Far East Finance Centre in Hong Kong after police fired off tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. (Dennis Law/The Epoch Times)
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Protesters retreated to the street near the Far East Finance Centre in Hong Kong after police fired off tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. (Dennis Law/The Epoch Times)
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Protesters retreated to the street near the Far East Finance Centre in Hong Kong after police fired off tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. (Dennis Law/The Epoch Times)
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Police fired tear gas toward the protesters over 10 times near the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, on June 12, 2019. (Song Bilong/The Epoch Times)
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Police fired tear gas toward the protesters at the Admiralty Centre in Hong Kong, on June 12, 2019. (Li Yi/The Epoch Times)
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At least 22 protesters were injured after Hong Kong police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and bean bags to clear the crowd, on June 12, 2019.

 

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