Hong Kong protesters block major highway near parliament | News | DW | 21.06.2019
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Hong Kong protesters block major highway near parliament

Protesters have gathered near Hong Kong’s main government complex, blocking most of a major city highway. They insist that a controversial law allowing extradition to the Chinese mainland, be scrapped completely.

Watch video 01:44

Fresh wave of protests in Hong Kong against government

Thousands of people filled the streets outside government headquarters in Hong Kong on Friday to demand the complete withdrawal of contentious legislation allowing extradition to China.

The demonstrators, mostly students wearing black, staged a sit-in on the major traffic artery of Harcourt Road, which runs through the busy commercial district. Video footage appeared to show they had left one lane open for vehicles.

Read more: Hong Kong protests: 'We are fighting against a dictatorship'

Campaigners say the extradition law is part of a campaign by Beijing to undermine the semi-autonomous region's democratic institutions.

"We are angry because we feel helpless," one protester told DW." We asked for a withdrawal of the bill, but it was just suspended. The police just fool us around."

A poster to promote the demonstration urged protesters to sit in and "picnic" around the government headquarters, which was closed ahead of the rally due to security concerns.

Protest leaders say they are determined to maintain pressure on the administration of territory leader Carrie Lam, after demonstrations over recent weeks that have drawn hundreds of thousands into the streets.

Watch video 02:07

Lam's apologies - too little, too late?

Following those protests, Lam agreed to shelve the law but did not concede to campaigners' demands for it to be scrapped altogether.

Read more: Hong Kong protests: 'This discontent is really about China'

Other demands by activists include an investigation into police tactics used against the protesters in the earlier demonstrations — including the use of tear gas and rubber bullets — and the dropping of charges against those who were arrested. Many have called for Lam to resign.

rc/rt (AP, AFP, dpa)

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