Hong Kong police bans demonstration called for Sunday

Hong Kong police banned today a demonstration called for Sunday by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which has been leading major pro-democracy protests in the former British colony.

The march had been called following the announcement by Hong Kong Government leader Carrie Lam of the formal withdrawal of amendments to the controversial extradition law that has been the basis of the social opposition since early June.

However, the same day as Carrie Lam's announcement, the CHRF deputy coordinator, which brings together more than a dozen parties and non-governmental organizations, told Lusa that "slogans" that have been chanted in the streets are clear. "Five demands: and not one less," said Bonnie Leung.

"This [the extradition law] was the simplest to answer, but the other four are equally important," he underlined, "it would also be simple to accept the creation of an independent commission of inquiry to investigate police action" which is accused of using excessive force.

Protesters demand that the Government responds to four other demands: the release of detained protesters, that the actions of the protests are not identified as riots, an independent inquiry into police violence and, finally, the resignation of the head of government and consequent election by universal suffrage for this office and for the Legislative Council, the Hong Kong Parliament.

The police "objection" letter sent to the march organizers read that during the demonstrations since June "some protesters not only committed acts of violence, arson and roadblocks, but also used gas stations and all the types of weapons to destroy public goods on a large scale."

In addition, law enforcement officials pointed out that the venues where the demonstration was to take place are "very close to high-risk buildings," including the high-speed train station or police headquarters.

By declaring the manifestation illegal, people participating in it can face serious legal consequences.

The CHRF has already announced that it has appealed against the police decision and should be notified before Sunday of the decision.

The transfer from Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China in 1997 took place under the "one country, two systems" principle. As with Macau, for that special administrative region of China, a period of 50 years of high degree of executive, legislative and judiciary autonomy was agreed, with the Chinese central government being responsible for foreign affairs and defense.

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