Demonstrations in Hong Kong are set to continue after protest leaders denounced Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s reluctance to withdraw a bill that would facilitate extradition to mainland China and her decision to not open an investigation into police conduct.
Lam, who has characterized her government’s action surrounding the bill as a “complete failure,” declared the controversial extradition bill “dead” on Tuesday, after weeks of protests gripped the nation.
Lam’s latest actions have failed to appease protestors, who seek to see the bill formally withdrawn.
“We cannot find the word dead in any of the laws in Hong Kong or in any legal proceedings in the Legislative Council,” said Bonnie Leung, the vice-convener of the Civil Human Rights Front, an organization that worked to mobilize protestors against the extradition bill.
Many protestors worry that the government will attempt to pass the extradition bill at a later date.
Lam has attempted to reassure critics, telling reporters at a press conference that “there is no such plan” to push through the bill in the future.
Activists have also criticized Lam for not opening an independent investigation into the conduct of police officers during the protests.
“How can the government tell us that we should preserve our rule of law, when [Lam] herself does not use the principle without actually speaking to them directly,” Jimmy Sham, another CHRF leader, said in a joint statement with Leung.
Lam said that her decision not to withdraw the bill has “nothing to do with [her] own pride or arrogance,” calling the decisions “practical”.
“Give us the time and room for us to take Hong Kong out of the current impasse,” she said.
Joshua Wong, another activist in Hong Kong, also called for Lam to cease prosecution for activists and investigate police conduct.
“As former Chief Justice Andrew Li pointed out today, an independent inquiry is a necessary move to solve the current governance crisis,” he said.
“She has to stop prosecuting activists who participated in the protests,” he later wrote.