Hong Kong Watch statement on suspension of the extradition law amendment bill

Hong Kong Watch welcomes the decision by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam to suspend the extradition bill indefinitely, but urges the government to go further and withdraw the proposal completely.

Furthermore, we call for restraint by the police in response to continuing protests and urge the police to cease harassment and arrests of those who participated in demonstrations this week. We urge the Hong Kong government to exercise restraint in regard to any prosecutions.

We call for an immediate independent inquiry into police actions during recent protests, and for urgent reform of the Public Order Ordinance.

Hong Kong Watch’s co-founder and Chair Benedict Rogers said: “This crisis should never have been allowed to get this far, when it has been clear for weeks that the proposed legislation is fundamentally flawed, and draws strong opposition from right across Hong Kong society, from business and legal sectors, from the international community, and from hundreds of thousands of ordinary people. The police response to protests on 12 June was completely disproportionate and demands urgent independent investigation and accountability. The police must not be allowed to behave with impunity. Reports of the police arresting or threatening people in hospitals and universities are deeply concerning and must cease. Defining the demonstrations as ‘riots’ must be withdrawn. Hong Kong must now begin the work of dialogue, reconciliation and protecting its fundamental freedoms and the rule of law which have been so undermined in recent weeks.”

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