Date
15 December 2019
People attend a massive demonstration organized by the CHRF on June 16. The group has called on the public to join another rally to be held Wednesday night in Central. Photo: Reuters
People attend a massive demonstration organized by the CHRF on June 16. The group has called on the public to join another rally to be held Wednesday night in Central. Photo: Reuters

CHRF calls fresh rally over fugitive bill, voicing 5 demands

Keeping up the pressure on the government in relation to the extradition bill, which has been suspended but not withdrawn, and the police’s use of force on demonstrators, an activist group has called another public protest, hoping to draw attention as world leaders prepare for a G20 summit.

On Monday, the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which organized two massive demonstrations against the extradition bill on June 9 and 16, called on the public to join a rally to be held Wednesday night in Central, asking the government once again to meet five demands.

The demands include complete withdrawal of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019, retraction of the categorization of the June 12 clashes in Admiralty as a “riot” and dropping of charges against all those arrested during the protest.

The other two demands are that Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor must step down, and an independent commission of inquiry be established to look into the police strong-arm tactics against demonstrators, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Explaining the timing of the latest protest, CHRF Convenor Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit said they hope to convey a message to Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of other countries that will attend the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan later this week.

Sham revealed that a manifesto will be read out in several languages at the rally and that experts in international relations are being invited to provide insights into the disturbances caused by the bill.

The CHRF has notified the police about Wednesday’s rally, Sham said, without providing an estimate of the expected turnout.

In a similar move, some netizens, through chat groups on an instant messaging app, called on people to go to the consulates of G20 countries on Wednesday and submit petition letters, asking representatives of the countries to express concerns about the issues resulting from proposed amendments to the extradition law to their Chinese counterparts at the summit.

Separately, ten former members of the Independent Police Complaints Council issued a joint statement on Monday, urging the government to establish an independent commission of inquiry to find out why the June 12 clashes happened, review the law enforcement effectiveness and make suggestions for improvement.

Meanwhile, China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun told a press briefing in Beijing on Monday that the Hong Kong issue will not come up for discussion at the G20 summit. 

“I can tell you with certainty that the G20 will not discuss the Hong Kong issue and we will not allow the G20 to discuss the Hong Kong issue,” Zhang said, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and no foreign country has the right to intervene,” the news agency quoted Zhang as saying.

Zhang said the law changes proposed by the Hong Kong government are necessary for upholding social justice and plugging loopholes in the legal system, and that the central authorities had supported the plans.

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TL/JC/RC