On June 9, people from Hong Kong launched an “anti-extradition” parade. Over a million people took to the streets in Hong Kong to protest the government’s approval of amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. The Hong Kong people were joined in spirit by the Taiwanese, who cheered them on over the Internet to “guard China’s last bastion of democracy.”
About 1.03 million people participated in the parade. It was the largest parade since the British returned Hong Kong to China in 1997.
In February this year, the Hong Kong government first proposed to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. The move was fiercely opposed by members of the private sector, the business sector, the legal profession, and the Pan-Democratic Legislative Council.
The revised extradition law stipulates that the Chief Executive of Hong Kong will “not need the supervision of the Legislative Council before transferring the offenders to jurisdictions not covered by existing regulations, including mainland China. Therefore, the outside world calls it the “Extradition to China Regulation.”
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Hong Kong Human Rights Watch also issued a joint statement saying that the amendment will damage Hong Kong’s original judicial guarantees. If someone is extradited to the mainland, they are likely to be subjected to torture or other forms of ill-treatment and an unfair trial.
The Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce also sent a letter to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong stating that the draft amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance has obvious shortcomings. If passed, the people of Hong Kong will lose freedom, wealth, and even lives.
The people of Hong Kong believe that the Chinese Communist Party’s claim of rule of law is not credible. Once the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance is passed, “one country, two systems” will no longer exist and Hong Kong people will have no freedom to speak of.
According to Radio Free Asia, in addition to the 50 groups of the Civil Human Rights Front, many non-governmental organizations also joined the parade. Senior government officials, legal professionals, lawyers, and actors and actresses also participated in the parade. On that day, more than 3,000 Hong Kong university graduates bought a full-page advertisement for Hong Kong newspapers calling for “opposing lies and cancelling the evil extradition law.”
Translated by Yi Ming