Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

‘All five demands must be fulfilled’: Thousands of Hong Kong anti-extradition law protesters rally in Sha Tin

Thousands have marched in Sha Tin, urging the Hong Kong government to meet their demands over the now-suspended extradition bill.

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

They called for a complete withdrawal of the bill, the withdrawal of the “riot” characterisation of the June 12 protests, the unconditional release of all arrested protesters, the formation of an independent commission of inquiry into police behaviour, as well as universal suffrage.

Marchers also condemned the “violent clearance” of the demonstrations in Kowloon last Sunday.

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Demonstrators began the march early owing to a high turnout, chanting “all five demands must be fulfilled” and “Hong Kong police break laws.”

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Organisers said that, as of 5.30pm, more than 100,000 people had passed through Hilton Plaza.

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Photo: Jennifer Creery/HKFP.

Mr Chan, who led a group of protesters bearing the US flag, said they wanted Washington to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and secure universal suffrage for the Legislative Council for 2020.

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Chan said they organised themselves online: “The bill will be very useful… we have been speaking to US lawmakers on Facebook, Twitter, and also the Hong Kong community in the US to ask them to urge lawmakers to pass it,” he said.

Wildy Chan, a 40-year-old teacher, told HKFP he wanted Chief Executive Carrie Lam and police chief Stephen Lo to be held responsible for the use of “extreme violence” by police against protesters in recent weeks.

Wildy Chan

Wildy Chan. Photo: Jennifer Creery/HKFP.

“Most of the protesters are peaceful so it is unreasonable for them to beat them up in this way,” he said. “They have no weapons. They are only wearing masks.”

july 14 sha tin china extradition

A banner takes aim at a western police officer accused of approving the use of tear gas. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Another protester – Ms Chan, a former journalist – said all five demands must be met by the government. She said she believed the study launched by the Independent Police Complaints Council would not bear any results because of its lack of legal power.

She said a commission of inquiry should be formed with a judge leading it: “At least we will see it as a fair investigation.”

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Mrs Chan (centre). Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

She said she did not accept Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s apology, because she believed Lam was not sincere after the untimely death of four protesters. “[Lam] treats our lives as nothing,” she said.

Tobias Leung, the convener of Shatin Commons who applied for a letter of no objection from the police, told HKFP that they initially applied for the letter expecting 1,000 people to march. However, they expected 10,000 to turn up after last Sunday’s rally attracted 230,000, according to organisers.

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Photo: Jennifer Creery/HKFP.

Demonstrators marched from Chui Tin Street Soccer Pitch in Tai Wai, via Che Kung Temple MTR station and the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, to the Sha Tin Government Offices.

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

As the day wore on, clashes broke out as police in riot gear arrived on the scene.

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Protesters uprooted road barriers to use as barricades and passed supplies such as umbrellas to the frontlines.

Leung said the office had disqualified up to five pro-democracy candidates in past elections and thus it was chosen as the endpoint in protest.

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Perry Dino, an artist who has gained recognition for painting protests, told HKFP he wanted to capture the anti-extradition movement as it “blossomed” in the New Territories.

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Perry Dino. Photo: Jennifer Creery/HKFP.

“I wanted to capture a recognisable Sha Tin scene from this overpass by including the mountains in the background and the Leisure and Cultural Service Headquarters,” he said.

After the rally, Lost In the Fumes, a documentary about jailed activist Edward Leung, will be screened outside the Sha Tin Town Hall at 8pm.

The extradition bill would allow the city to handle case-by-case fugitive transfers to jurisdictions with no prior arrangements, including China. Critics have said residents would be at risk of extradition to the mainland, which lacks human rights protections.

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Photo: Inmediahk.net.

The controversy over the bill sparked large-scale protests since June, before morphing into protests over democracy, alleged police brutality and other community grievances. Chief Executive Carrie Lam declared the bill “dead” this week, but did not enact any mechanism to withdraw it or agree to other demands.

july 14 sha tin china extradition

Photo: Inmediahk.net.

More to follow. 

'All five demands must be fulfilled': Thousands of Hong Kong anti-extradition law protesters rally in Sha Tin