The Civil Human Rights Front has said it was “disappointed” by Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s latest response to protesters’ demands.

Although Lam gave an apology in person on Tuesday afternoon, she did not agree to the demands of demonstrators who attended a “two million-strong” march on Sunday. Organisers urged her to axe the extradition bill entirely, retract the characterisation of last Wednesday’s protest as a “riot,” seek responsibility from the police over instances of “brutality,” drop charges against protesters and resign as the city’s leader.

Jimmy Sham, convenor of the Front, said her press conference was meaningless since she did not meet any of the five demands.

Civil Human Right Front. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

“We don’t want to listen to her feelings. We want a chief executive to respond to our demands,” he said. “She is still very arrogant… The people will not accept her answer.”

No protest plans have yet been announced, but Sham said the Front and the pro-democracy camp will discuss their future steps on Wednesday.

Hong Kong has seen the largest protests in its history amid government plans to update the city’s extradition laws to cover territories with which there are no prior agreements. Proposed in February in response to a Taiwan murder case, the since-postponed bill would allow case-by-case fugitive transfers to other jurisdictions – notably China – without legislative oversight. The plan has prompted a chorus of criticism from democratslawyersjournalistsforeign politicians and businesses, who say the mainland lacks human rights protections.

Carrie Lam. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Sham refuted Lam’s suggestion that people concerned about police violence should file complaints to the Complaints Against Police Office. He said that the office is a police internal department: “Precisely because the department is useless – it has allowed the police to use violence against people,” he said.

The Front urged protesters to provide evidence of police violence so that it can make further complaints.

Pro-democracy camp convener Claudia Mo also said Lam’s press conference was meaningless: “She gave zero responses – regardless of what questions journalists asked, she just gave the same answer.”

In a Twitter video response, Democrat Ray Chan said people will turn out onto the streets once again “in massive numbers” unless the bill is withdrawn.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.