Hong Kong activist released from prison, vows to join protests

Cheryl Sanders
June 17, 2019

While Hong Kong saw a historic turnout of two million protesters flooding into the streets on Sunday afternoon to signal their disapproval of the extradition bill amendments, many Hong Kong and Taiwan students rallied outside Taiwan's Legislative Yuan in Taipei to voice their support.

Hundreds were lying or sitting on the roads until they agreed to move to the plaza outside the government building and a spacious nearby park.

She may be able to serve one to two more years or even serve out the rest of her term which runs to the middle of 2022, but she will then step down definitely.

Lam Ching-choi told reporters that Chief Executive Carrie Lam was sincerely sorry for mishandling the issue, which drew an estimated 2 million people into the streets in protest on Sunday. Police said 338,000 were counted on the designated protest route in the "peak period" of the march.

While the world has focused on Hong Kong over the past week, most of the 1.4 billion people right across the border in China have not.

Protesters showed up anyway to vent their frustration and anger at the chief executive. The protest revived after Joshua Wong, a prominent activist leader, rallied the crowd after his release from prison later Monday.

That authority is one that's curbed freedom of speech in China, and Oliver said this is what is primarily driving the protests.

Mr Wong said he needed a bit of time but that "no matter what happens, I will join the protest soon".

Protesters in Hong Kong have refused police requests to clear the streets.

HONG KONG - JUNE 16: Protesters demonstrate against the now-suspended extradition bill on June 16, 2019 in Hong Kong.

One concern over the extradition bill is that it might be used to send critics of Communist Party rule to the mainland to face vague political charges, possible torture and unfair trials.

The protesters are demanding that Lam scrap the proposal for good and that she step down.

Protesters have called on her to resign, shelve the bill permanently and apologise for police using tear gas and rubber bullets on Wednesday. That worsens the potential legal consequences for those involved.

"I don't know how many more times we can still take to the streets and protest like today, but if Hong Kong government's policy is against the people's will, we definitely have to resist and fight back", he said.

"I think she has lost any remaining credibility or legitimacy to rule in Hong Kong because of her own mishandling of this whole affair", lawmaker Charles Mok told RTHK Radio.

Unlike Reverend Chu, Chi Yip Kung has very little experience in the pro-democracy movement. Lam described her government's handling of the protests as a "mother" refusing to spoil her children, but a mother should never treat her children with violence, he added.

But others weren't sure if Lam's resignation would make a difference given Beijing's hold on the city.

She has sidestepped questions over whether she should quit and also defended how the police dealt with last week's clashes with demonstrators.

Lam also refused to apologize, saying the bill was the result of "deficiencies" in her office, but not an all-out mistake, and that "substantial controversies and disputes in society", led her to reconsider the bill - not a almost all-out revolt on the part of Hong Kong's residents.

The bill would cover Hong Kong residents and foreign and Chinese nationals living there or passing through. It would expand the scope of criminal suspect transfers to include Taiwan, Macau and mainland China.

In response to the Hong Kong government's decision to suspend the extradition amendment bill, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on his Twitter feed: "Well done HK Government for heeding concerns of the fearless citizens who have stood up for their human rights".

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