Thousands of Protesters Surround Police Headquarters in Hong Kong

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Thousands of Protesters Surround Police Headquarters in Hong Kong
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Thousands of Protesters Surround Police Headquarters in Hong Kong
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Earlier this week, thousands of protesters surrounded the Hong Kong police headquarters to voice their dissatisfaction with a recently proposed extradition bill. Early estimates suggest that nearly 2 million of the city’s 7 million people took to the streets in protest on Sunday. The protests have specifically targeted Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her support for a bill that would allow extradition from Hong Kong to Mainland China.

Hong Kong became a special administrative region in China in 1997, when Britain’s 99-year lease on the region expired. Home to more than 7 million people, Hong Kong is the fourth-most densely populated area in the world. The city’s people generally refer to themselves as citizens of Hong Kong rather than citizens of China.

Protesters began taking to the streets over two months ago, yet, their numbers continue to grow. As a result of the demonstrations, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced Saturday that she would  suspend her efforts to pass the extradition bill. However, the protests likely reached peak participation on Sunday in spite of her comments.

Lam’s office released another statement on Sunday night, in a second attempt to appease demonstrators. This time, Lim apologized to the people of Hong Kong for her pursuit of the legislation. The statement went on to promise future improvements to her public service.

The statements weren’t enough for the protesters gathered outside police headquarters and Lam’s office, as many urged her to resign. They also expressed anger and disappointment over police tactics deployed against them, including the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, and batons. Several of the demonstrators carried images of their injured companions.

The protesters in Hong Kong have plenty of reasons to be concerned about extradition to China, where human rights and due process are routinely violated. The Chinese government has already targeted numerous Hong Kong activists, publishers, and business people in the past several years.

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