What Is China Extradition Bill That Gathered More Than 1 Million Protesters in Hong Kong?

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Thousands of protesters and police in Hong Kong are engaged in a stand-off as anger grows over a bill which would allow extradition to mainland China.

Nexter.org explains what is going on and why people in Hong Kong are outraged by the extradition bill.

What happened

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Source: Reuters

People are taking part in protests against a controversial extradition bill in Hong Kong.

Thousands of protesters – mostly young people and students – took to the streets and attempted to block access to government buildings ahead of the scheduled debate of the bill. Early on Wednesday protesters, some wearing face masks and helmets blocked key roads around government buildings.

“This behavior has gone beyond the scope of peaceful gatherings,” the Hong Kong Police Force said in a tweet on Wednesday. “We call on [protesters] to leave as soon as possible… otherwise we will use appropriate force.”

According to the latest reports, police push back protesters with batons and tear gas.

china-hong-kong-protests-extradition-law-photo

Source: Kyodo News/Getty Images

What’s the extradition law and why is it controvercial?

The changes will allow for extradition requests from authorities in mainland China, Taiwan and Macau for suspects accused of criminal wrongdoings, such as murder and rape.

The requests will then be decided on a case-by-case basis.

china-hong-kong-protests-extradition-law-photo

Source: James Griffiths

In the proposed ordinance, there are 37 categories of extraditable crimes, each of which includes multiple offences. They include murder; aiding and abetting suicide; bodily assault (including threats to kill); sexual assault; kidnapping; corruption; money laundering; piracy, and “offences relating to the unlawful termination of pregnancy.”

There has been a lot of public opposition, and critics say people would be subject to arbitrary detention, unfair trial and torture under China’s judicial system.

“The proposed changes to the extradition laws will put anyone in Hong Kong doing work related to the mainland at risk,” said Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch in a statement. “No one will be safe, including activists, human rights lawyers, journalists, and social workers.”

china-hong-kong-protests-extradition-law-photo

Source: Getty Images

Here’s what you need to know about Hong Kong’s relationship with China

Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841 until sovereignty was returned to China in 1997.

Central to the handover was the agreement of the Basic Law, a mini-constitution that gives Hong Kong broad autonomy and sets out certain rights.

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Source: Reuters

Under the “one country, two systems” principle, Hong Kong has kept its judicial independence, its own legislature, its economic system and the Hong Kong dollar.

Its residents were also granted protection of certain human rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech and assembly.

However, the Basic Law expires in 2047 and what happens to Hong Kong’s autonomy after that is unclear.


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What Is China Extradition Bill That Gathered More Than 1 Million Protesters in Hong Kong?
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What Is China Extradition Bill That Gathered More Than 1 Million Protesters in Hong Kong?
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Thousands of protesters and police in Hong Kong are engaged in a stand-off as anger grows over a bill which would allow extradition to mainland China. Nexter.org explains what is going on and why people in Hong Kong are outraged by the extradition bill.
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