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Hong Kong leader apologises after massive protests

Carrie Lam says her handling of an unpopular extradition bill has led to ‘conflict and disputes’.

Hong Kong‘s embattled leader has apologised to the public with “utmost sincerity and humility” after hundreds of thousands of protesters demanded she step down over her handling of a bill that would have allowed extraditions to China.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam “admitted that shortcomings in the government’s work has led to a lot of conflict and disputes in Hong Kong society and has disappointed and distressed many citizens,” a statement from her office said on Sunday.      

“The chief executive apologises to the citizens and promises to accept criticism with the most sincere and humble attitude,” it added.

The statement came after a second massive protest in a week over the proposed law. 

Demonstrators carried white carnation flowers and others held banners saying, “Do not shoot, we are Hongkongers” – an appeal to police who fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters on Wednesday, wounding more than 70 people.

Sunday’s rally came a day after Lam annnounced she was suspending the proposed law indefinitely. But protesters want the bill shelved permanently. 

Critics of the bill see it as one of many steps chipping away at Hong Kong’s freedoms and legal autonomy, and worry the law could be used to send criminal suspects to China to potentially face vague political charges and unfair trials.

More soon …

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES


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