Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched through Hong Kong on Sunday, 9 June, and Monday, 10 June, in opposition to a legislation that will allow people to be extradited to mainland China, where they can be put on politically charged trials.
The massive demonstration was held three days before the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s government plans to take the extremely controversial bill to the full legislature and have it approved by the end of the month.
Resistance to the extradition law is foregrounded on it undermining Hong Kong’s independent judicial system by allowing fugitives to be handed over to jurisdictions which the city doesn’t currently have an extradition agreement with, such as mainland China, where a fair trial isn’t guaranteed.
The police estimated the crowd at 240,000 but the organisers said more than one million partook in the protest.
The protest was one of the biggest in recent Hong Kong history and highlighted fears regarding China's deepening footprint in the former British colony. It surpassed the pro-democracy demonstration held in 2003 against a proposed national security law, according to Associated Press journalists who covered both the events.
People of all ages took part in the protest, some pushing strollers and others with canes, chanting slogans in Cantonese, and urging greater transparency in government operations.
Hong Kong's leader has signalled that the government will go ahead with the proposed amendments to its extradition law despite the opposition.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam told the media on Monday, 10 June, that the legislation is important and will help Hong Kong uphold justice and fulfill its international obligations.
She said safeguards will be added to the legislation to ensure that human rights are protected.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched through central Hong Kong on Sunday, 9 June, in what may have been the territory's largest protest in recent times.
(This piece has been edited for clarity.)
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