Hong Kong’s Civil Human Rights Front has confirmed it will hold a march on Sunday calling for an independent commission of inquiry into recent anti-extradition law protests and the police use of force.

The pro-democracy coalition’s march will begin at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay at 3:30pm and will end at the Court of Final Appeal in Central.

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Posted by 民間人權陣線 Civil Human Rights Front on Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Front Convener Jimmy Sham said the march will be a peaceful one: “We can only move on when we uncover the truth,” he said after a meeting with the police on Wednesday.

statue of justice court
Photo: Court of Final Appeal.

Sham said the Court of Final Appeal was chosen as the endpoint because a proposed commission of inquiry would be led by a judge.

Former chief justice Andrew Li has voiced support for the notion of an independent inquiry.

Protesters have been urging the government to fulfil their five demands since June. The other demands include a complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, the withdrawal of the “riot” characterisation of the June 12 protests, the unconditional release of all arrested protesters, as well as universal suffrage.

Jimmy Sham
Jimmy Sham. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

Sham said recent confrontations occurred because the government did not agree to any of the demands.

“We urge [Chief Executive] Carrie Lam not to use the police to do her dirty work,” Sham said.

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. Chief Executive Carrie Lam declared the bill “dead” last week, but did not enact any mechanism to withdraw it.

Protest ban 

Meanwhile, pro-Beijing lawmakers Ann Chiang and Junius Ho have urged the government to take measures to ban protests.

Junius Ho
Junius Ho (left). Photo: inmediahk.net.

Ho led a group of around 50 people to demonstrate outside the police headquarters on Wednesday morning, urging police not to issue a letter of no objection to the Front’s march, and ban future protests until September.

“They can chat with people in Victoria Park, but they cannot damage shops or occupy streets,” Ho said.

Sham said in response that banning protests will not resolve the conflicts in society: “Even if all protests are deemed illegal, escalation actions will still occur, because the political problems are yet to be resolved.””Some young people are willing to make sacrifices for Hong Kong’s future, for democracy and freedom, even if it is illegal to do so.”

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.