Hong Kong protesters march against China extradition bill
Over a million people took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to oppose a controversial new extradition bill.
HONG KONG — More than a million people marched in Hong Kong to protest a controversial new law that would allow suspects to be sent to China for trial.
According to the South China Morning Post, the bill will allow Hong Kong to decide case-by-case whether to transfer suspected criminals to territories it doesn't have formal extradition deals with, including Macau, Taiwan, and mainland China.
The government claims the proposed bill would plug loopholes so that Hong Kong would not be a safe haven for criminals.
But critics say it will instead undermine Hong Kong's semi-autonomous legal system and allow China to take anyone in Hong Kong for political reasons or business offenses.
According to CNN, protesters wearing white and waving placards gathered at Victoria Park in central Hong Kong on Sunday afternoon.
While walking three kilometers to the Legislative Council, they chanted "shelve the evil law" and "anti extradition to China" and called for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to step down.
Organizers say 1.03 million people joined the march, which would make it the largest demonstration the city has had since it was handed back to China in '97. Hong Kong police claim the number is closer to 240,000.
The BBC reports that clashes later erupted between demonstrators and cops. Police in riot gear used batons and pepper spray on some who tried to break into the Legislative Council complex.
At least seven were arrested, according to Hong Police posts on Twitter.
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