Carrie Lam: Extradition bill to help Hong Kong combat transnational crimes
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam on Monday defended Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government's efforts to safeguard Hong Kong residents' freedom and rights, after a peaceful demonstration turned into violence midnight.
On Sunday, a protest march ended in violence at the Legislative Council when a mob stormed barricades and police responded with batons and pepper spray.
Lam expressed regrets to the violent acts and said that the demonstration showed that people's freedom of speech and free press are fully protected under the Basic Law.
Hong Kong is a lawful society and the SAR government upholds freedom of expression, she said.
Her government fully understands those people on the street and political parties' concerns and it has already made two amendments after consultation and listening to different opinions, Lam added.
Lam stressed that any bill or law would be under legislation scrutiny. The government's extradition bill will have a second reading in the Legislative Council on June 12, she said.
Lam dismissed the allegations that her government received order from the central government to push for the extradition bill.
Hong Kong has obligations to combat cross-border and transnational crimes, and the bill, as supplementary arrangement, is to give Hong Kong additional safeguards to do that, she said, stressing that it intends to make Hong Kong a safe place.
Regarding a question on the accountability of her government, Lam said she has been listening to public opinions and reflecting HK people's concerns to the central government during her time in office. And the central government supports and respects these points of views, she said.
She said she would continue to defend the justice system, improve economic and people's livelihood issues and reduce poverty.
(Cover: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Carrie Lam holds press conference in Hong Kong after Sunday's protest turned into violence, June 10, 2019. /AP Photo)