HONG KONG (AP) – The Latest on the controversy in Hong Kong over proposed legislation that critics say would expand Beijing’s influence in the former British colony and undermine freedoms promised when China took control over the territory (all times local):
Petitions are voicing anger over police use of rubber bullets and other forceful means against Hong Kong residents who turned out to protest a bill that would allow suspects detained in Hong Kong to be tried in mainland Chinese courts.
Several groups were circulating online petitions signed by thousands of people objecting to use of rubber bullets, tear gas and other tactics during protests that left about 80 people injured.
One of the petitions, posted on Change.org, had nearly 28,000 signatures. It said the police had used an “excessive level of violence” and urged the United Nations to investigate and to condemn the police.
More demonstrations are planned to try to stop Beijing-appointed Chief Executive Carrie Lam from pushing through the legal amendments they fear will erode Hong Kong’s legal autonomy.
Calm appeared to have returned to Hong Kong after days of protests by students and human rights activists opposed to a bill that would allow suspects to be tried in mainland Chinese courts.
The prospect of further protests over the weekend loomed large, however, with demonstrators saying they were determined to prevent the administration of Beijing-appointed Chief Executive Carrie Lam from pushing through the legal amendments they see as eroding Hong Kong’s cherished legal autonomy.
Traffic flowed on major thoroughfares that had been closed after a protest by hundreds of thousands of people on Sunday, posing the biggest political challenge yet to Lam’s two-year-old government. Protesters had kept up a presence through Thursday night, singing hymns and holding up signs criticizing the police for their handling of the protests.
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