Protest against HK extradition bill continues

Protest against HK extradition bill continues

Agency News

United Nations, June 21: Thousands of people in Hong Kong have surrounded police headquarters, calling for an extradition bill to be scrapped.

Police have asked the protesters to withdraw peacefully, saying their presence would "seriously affect" emergency services, said a BBC News report.

Millions of people have marched against the bill in recent weeks, with violent clashes breaking out with police. The bill, which allows extradition to mainland China, has already been suspended.

Critics say it would erode the judicial independence of Hong Kong. Hong Kong has been part of China since 1997 under the "one country, two systems" principle, which allows its freedoms not seen in mainland China.

Early on Friday morning, a large group of protesters began gathering outside the Legislative Council (LegCo). The protest comes a day after the government ignored a deadline set by a group of students from various universities in Hong Kong, who called for the bill to be completely scrapped.

The BBC's Helier Cheung, who is at the scene, said the mood on Friday morning was relatively calm. But then prominent activist Joshua Wong called for people to march towards the police headquarters. They began putting on face masks and started chanting for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to step down. Wong, in a tweet on Friday, called for police to drop charges against people who had been arrested in earlier protests.

He also urged Hong Kong Police Commissioner Stephen Lo to "come down and face the people". As of Friday lunchtime local time, the protests were considerably smaller than those seen in recent weeks.Organisers estimate that millions in the city have taken part in protests, with one seeing an estimated turnout of two million people. (UNI)