Hong Kong, June 13: The Hong Kong authorities have on Thursday shut federal offices in the centre of the city following mass protests against a controversial extradition bill that permits suspects in the territory to be sent to mainland China for a court trial.
According to Al-Jazeera news reports, embattled Hong Kong leader has described the demonstrations as politically motivated “riots” and criticized protesters who resorted to “dangerous and life-threatening acts”.
Carrie Lam, the chief executive, has defended the bill and insisted the legal implements were needed and crucial to Hong Kong’s future.
Anti-riot gear wearing local police have on Wednesday launched tear gases, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and batons, on demonstrators protesting on the streets of Hong Kong against the controversial extradition law.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Wednesday, continuing their demonstration against a controversial “extradition bill”. Protests broke as lawmakers were slated to address the second reading of the extradition bill alongside holding a debate over the matter.
Around 5,000 security personnel were deployed in the region, sealing the legislative council centre of Hong Kong, around which hundreds of demonstrators were holding a march.
Reporting from Hong Kong, Al Jazeera’s Sarah Clarke said, “The streets are clear [and] the clean-up is underway,” adding, “We are starting to see traffic resume on these roads that were paralysed for most of Wednesday.”
About a million people took to the streets on Sunday, marking the largest march in nearly 15 years in Hong Kong, to protest against the draft bill which chief executive Carrie Lam, the region’s pro-China leader, has been long defending.
Chinese central government has on Wednesday firmly reiterated its support for the Hong Kong government on passing the extradition law, which permits suspects in the territory to be extradited to mainland China for their court trial, the foreign ministry said.