On April 28, 2019, the extradition bill to mainland China was proposed, sparking protests and demonstrations.The demonstrations currently continue.
The extradition bill is a law presented by Hong Kong’s government, where criminals and fugitives could be transferred to mainland China, Taiwan, or Macau for trial and punishment.
With the bill, all “legal loopholes” are tied, assuring that convicts cannot escape deportation to China or the requested location, and will receive the proper trial and punishment the government finds best.
Citizens of Hong Kong are opposed to the bill because it impedes them from becoming a democracy and allows China to have more influence over the country. Kevin Tam, a 21 year old at the University of London told Reuters, “The extradition bill will directly threaten the core values of Hong Kong and rule of law.” The bill also puts citizens at risk of being exposed to unjust, brutal trials and treatment in China.
The people of Hong Kong are protesting for five demands with their requests of the bill met during the formal withdrawal in September. These demands include: the termination of the extradition bill, the release of unlawful arrests by police during protests, not to be characterized as a riot, investigations in alleged police brutality, and universal suffrage.
Some are also demanding for the resignation of the Hong Kong chief Executive, Carrie Lam. A 21 year old student named Tiffany Lau expresses with Reuters, “Carrie Lam still doesn’t want to listen to citizens. I think the only solution is for her to step down.”
Demonstrating his concern for equality, sophomore Brandon Nguyen said, “I stand with Hong Kong on this one. Seeing certain human rights being taken away is just infuriating.” In agreement, sophomore Fei Chan added, “It’s their right to protest. They shouldn’t be harmed by the law enforcement for exercising something they have the right to do anyways.”
The people of Hong Kong have been in a long, grueling battle, fighting for their right to democratic values. The people aren’t just striving for a democracy, but also for a better future for their country.