Bowing to pressure, Hong Kong leader suspends extradition bill

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Saturday indefinitely delayed a proposed law that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, in a dramatic retreat after anger over the bill triggered the city’s biggest and most violent street protests in decades.

The extradition bill, which would have covered Hong Kong’s seven million residents as well as foreign and Chinese nationals there, was seen by many as a threat to the rule of law in the former British colony.

Around a million people marched through Hong Kong last Sunday to oppose the bill, according to organisers of the protest, the largest in the city since crowds came out against the bloody suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations centred around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

Demonstrations continued through the week and were met with tear gas, bean bag rounds and rubber bullets from police, plunging the Asian finance hub into turmoil and piling heavy pressure on Lam.

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