Hong Kong Police estimated the variety of protesters nearer to 240,000.
The invoice has precipitated political gridlock, outcry among the many metropolis’s often pro-conservative enterprise neighborhood, and even bodily scuffles within the metropolis’s legislature, in addition to criticism of the Hong Kong authorities by the US and European Union.
Sunday afternoon, protesters gathered at Victoria Park in central Hong Kong, waving placards and sporting white — the designated colour of the rally. “Hong Kong, by no means quit!” some chanted.
Different protesters had been heard chanting “step down,” “shelve the evil legislation,” “anti extradition to China,” and known as for Carrie Lam, the chief government of Hong Kong, to step down, because the marchers made their method alongside the 3-kilometer (1.86-mile) path to the Legislative Council within the Admiralty enterprise district.
At round 7:30 p.m. in Hong Kong (7:30 a.m. ET), 5 to 6 males with masks deliberate to occupy a essential street within the metropolis, Hong Kong Police mentioned on Twitter.
Police mentioned they used pepper spray on the protesters earlier than they escaped the world. Officers urged protesters to disperse.
Hundreds additionally gathered to protest the extradition invoice in cities throughout Australia on Sunday. Related marches had been deliberate in different cities around the globe, Hong Kong political group Demosisto mentioned in an announcement.
At about 10.30 p.m. (10.30 a.m. ET), organizers introduced that the protest had ended. CNN journalists on the bottom mentioned the majority of the protesters had dispersed by then, leaving a variety of individuals milling across the Legislative Council.
Late Sunday, the federal government of Hong Kong launched an announcement acknowledging the continued protests throughout the island however reiterating the contested invoice remains to be scheduled to renew debate June 12.
“We urge the Legislative Council to scrutinize the Invoice in a relaxed, affordable and respectful method to assist guarantee Hong Kong stays a protected metropolis for residents and enterprise,” it mentioned.
Homicide of vacationer
The case for the invoice was expedited by a grisly homicide case in Taiwan, the place a 20-year-old Hong Kong lady was allegedly killed by her boyfriend whereas on vacation there. At the moment, the suspect can’t be despatched from Hong Kong to face justice in Taiwan.
Earlier this week, Chris Patten, the final British governor of Hong Kong, slammed the invoice.
Undesirable and unneeded?
Enterprise teams in Hong Kong often take a impartial stance on contentious political points. However this time they, too, have spoken out towards the invoice. In a bid to safe their assist, the federal government has restricted the scope of extraditable offenses — however for some that’s nonetheless not sufficient.
“Hong Kong is just not able to see this invoice handed and we don’t see why it ought to be rushed by way of when the loophole it seeks to deal with has existed for 20 years,” the chamber mentioned in an announcement.
However authorities spokesman Matthew Cheung mentioned the transfer was time delicate.
“The suspect within the Taiwan homicide case is serving sentences for different legal offenses in Hong Kong however is predicted to be launched this October,” Cheung mentioned. “There’s thus a urgent want to offer a authorized foundation for the help that we wish to render to Taiwan, earlier than the (legislature) goes into summer time recess from mid-July to October.”
A US State Division spokesperson mentioned Washington is “involved by the Hong Kong authorities’s proposed amendments to its Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, which might enable for people to be transferred to mainland China on the request of Communist Celebration authorities, and is carefully monitoring the state of affairs.”
“Societies are finest served when various political opinions are revered and will be freely expressed,” the spokesperson mentioned in an announcement. “Continued erosion of the ‘One nation, Two methods’ framework places in danger Hong Kong’s long-established particular standing in worldwide affairs.”
The extradition invoice, notably an try and fast-track it by way of Hong Kong’s semi-democratic legislature, has reinvigorated town’s flagging opposition motion after quite a few setbacks.
Fears over the invoice — and criticism from a broad swath of Hong Kong society — echo 2003, when half 1,000,000 individuals took to the streets to oppose the passage of an anti-sedition legislation. That laws was shelved however the challenge has turn out to be such a hot-button matter in Hong Kong that — regardless of promising to take action — no governments since have tried to introduce it.
Correction: A earlier model of this story misstated the quantity of people that participated in protests in Hong Kong on Sunday. The Civil Human Rights Entrance estimates there have been 1.03 million protesters.
CNN’s Jennifer Hansler in Washington contributed to this report.