Hong Kong legislature officially kills controversial extradition bill

Hong Kong, , Hong KongUpdated: Oct 23, 2019, 02:09 PM IST
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(File photo) Hong Kong's Chief Executive John Lee Ka-Chiu. Photograph:(Reuters)

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The rallying cry of the protesters, who have trashed public buildings in the Chinese-ruled city and thrown petrol bombs at police, has been "five demands, not one less", including universal suffrage.

Hong Kong's legislature on Wednesday (October 23) formally withdrew planned legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, after enduring five months of unrest in the city.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam had reluctantly agreed to pull the bill two-and-a-half months after protests erupted in June. An earlier opportunity to withdraw was lost last Wednesday (October 16) when pro-democracy lawmakers heckled Lam and forced the suspension of the parliament.

If the bill was passed into law, residents could be extradited to Communist Party-controlled courts in mainland China, and it was seen as the latest attempt by Beijing to tighten its grip on Hong Kong, which enjoys an independent judiciary.

Despite the withdrawal, Hong Kong is not likely to see an end to months of unrest, as the move met just one of five demands of pro-democracy protesters, who were also calling for Lam to stand down and for an independent inquiry into perceived police brutality.