This photo dated Aug 8, 2017 shows the Central Government Offices in Tamar, Hong Kong. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES)
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government will table the proposed fugitive bill amendments at the Legislative Council’s full council meeting for its resumed second reading as scheduled on Wednesday, a government spokesman said on Sunday night.
As a free, open and pluralistic society, we acknowledge and respect that people have different views on a wide range of issues
Hong Kong government
The government issued a statement in response to a public procession by an estimated 240,000 people earlier in the day to oppose the proposed bill, according to police statistics.
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“As a free, open and pluralistic society, we acknowledge and respect that people have different views on a wide range of issues,” the spokesman said.
The procession is an example of Hong Kong people exercising their freedom of expression within their rights as enshrined in the Basic Law, the city’s constitutional document, and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, he said.
Apart from some obstructions to traffic, the march, though large, was generally “peaceful and orderly”, the spokesman said.
As usual, the police had provided the needed facilitation before and during the procession and taken resolute action against breaches of the law, he continued.
Stressing that the proposed bill is firmly grounded in the rule of law and offers sound protection for people’s human rights, the spokesman said the government will continue to engage, listen and allay concerns over the bill through calm and rational discussions.
“We urge the Legislative Council to scrutinize the bill in a calm, reasonable and respectful manner to help ensure Hong Kong remains a safe city for residents and business,” the spokesman added.
Hong Kong has fugitive surrender agreements with 20 jurisdictions and mutual legal assistance arrangements with 32 others. Such arrangements do not include the Chinese mainland, Macao and Taiwan.
The government proposed revising the Fugitive Offenders and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters ordinances to enable the city to surrender fugitive offenders on a case-by-case basis to other jurisdictions that have no formal long-term agreements with the SAR.
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