HONG KONG (AP) —Hundreds of protesters have blocked access to Hong Kong’s legislature and government headquarters in a bid to block debate on a highly controversial extradition bill that would allow accused people to be sent to China for trial.
The overwhelmingly young crowd of demonstrators filled roads in the Wan Chai district. Many had taken the day off from work and classes Wednesday to press their case that the amendments to the extradition bill would erode the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s civil liberties.
Under its “one country, two systems” framework, Hong Kong was guaranteed its own social, legal and political systems for 50 years following its handover from British rule in 1997. However, China’s ruling Communist Party has been seen as increasingly reneging on that agreement by forcing through unpopular legal changes.
A vote on the amended laws is scheduled for June 20.