PROTESTERS in Hong Kong have taken to the streets to stop Chinese plans to introduce an ‘extradition bill’ that will target political opponents in the former British territory.
Thousands of locals marched through the streets of n the largest demo since the ‘Umbrella Movement’ of 2014 in which locals protested against Chinese attempts to change Hong Kong’s independent political system.
Last time mass-protests took place in the region, nine leaders of the pro-democracy movement, were found guilty under colonial-era charges.
The government says the extradition bill has built-in protections and will plug loopholes, but the people of Hong Kong are not convinced.
Hong Kong’s current leader Carrie Lam has pushed for the amendments to be passed to protect political freedoms.
The plan is to send suspected criminals to mainland China for trial, however, critics say the laws will be used to target political opponents in the more politically-free Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is very different politically from mainland China – which has stricter rules and a more ‘skewered’ political and justice system.
In 1997 when Hong Kong was transferred to the People’s Republic of China, ending over one and a half centuries of British rule, the region became a ‘Special Administrative Region’ or SAR which gave it’s Government the freedom to make laws and rule over the island bar matters such as foreign affairs and defence.
According to a joint Sino-British, Joint Declaration in 1984 Basic Law in Hong Kong must retain its political, economic and judicial systems and unique way of life.