Hong Kong has been rocked by weeks of protest sparked by a controversial bill that would enable the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions where there are no prior extradition agreements, such as China. The bill was suspended on June 15, but not axed. The protests have since morphed into a wider display of discontent against dwindling freedoms, calls for democracy, and alleged police misconduct related to the use of crowd control measures. Photographer May James shares shots of recent events with HKFP.
Clashes break out
On June 12, police deployed tear gas and rubber bullets against anti-extradition law protesters during a clearance operation of the roads around the Legislative Council Complex, prompting accusations of misconduct related to the use of force. Several demonstrators and police officers were injured in the clashes.
‘Two million’ strong march
A mass rally saw what organisers estimated to be around two million people march against the extradition bill among other grievances on June 16. The figure represents 28.5 per cent of the city’s population, though police said 338,000 joined along the designated walking route at the peak of the demonstration.
Siege on police HQ
Masked protesters clad in black laid siege to police headquarters in Wan Chai on June 21, pelting eggs and hurling insults at nearby officers. Many of them called for the withdrawal of the extradition bill, accountability for alleged police misconduct, for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to resign, and for the term “riot” to be retracted as a characterisation of the June 12 protest.
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