Thousands protest proposed extradition law in Hong Kong
The peaceful marchers chanted demands for Hong Kong's Executive Carrie Lam to step down, saying she had "betrayed" Hong Kong. Some sported yellow umbrellas — the symbol of the Occupy civil disobedience movement that paralyzed parts of Hong Kong for 11 weeks in 2014.
The proposed changes have sparked an unusually broad chorus of concern from international business elites to lawyers and rights' groups and even some pro-establishment figures.
Chief Executive Lam and other government officials are standing fast by their proposals, saying they are vital to plug long-standing loopholes.
Under the changes, the Hong Kong leader would have the right to order the extradition of wanted offenders to China, Macau, and Taiwan as well as other countries not covered by Hong Kong's existing extradition treaties.
As a safeguard, such orders, to be issued case-by-case, could be challenged and appealed through the city's vaunted legal system.
Government officials have said no one at risk of the death penalty or torture or facing a political charge could be sent from Hong Kong. Under pressure from local business groups, they earlier exempted nine commercial crimes from the new provisions.
The proposals could be passed into law later in the year, with the city's pro-democratic camp no longer holding enough seats to block the move.
The government has justified the swift introduction of the changes by saying they are needed so a young Hong Kong man suspected of murdering his girlfriend in Taiwan can be extradited to face charges there.
A group of 33 followers of Falun Gong, a religious sect banned in China, flew from Taiwan to Hong Kong on Saturday to join the march but were refused entry to Hong Kong, RTHK reported.
Sunday's march comes amid renewed calls for deeper electoral reforms stalled five years ago after Occupy protests.
Four leaders of the movement were last week sentenced to jail terms ranging from eight to 16 months, part of a group of nine activists found guilty after a near month-long trial.