Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam says extradition bill not order from Beijing, will proceed despite protests
Lam said the bill would contain safeguards on human rights.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has vowed that the massive protests will not deter the passage of the controversial extradition bill.
These were her first comments since the protests started on June 9 in Hong Kong, which saw violent clashes between the protesters and the police.
Bill won’t change any more
Speaking to reporters on June 10, Al Jazeera reported that Lam had no plans to change the wording of the proposed law as it stands, nor to withdraw it from legislature.
She also said: “The bill will resume its second reading on the 12th (of) June.”
Not an order from Beijing
Lam dismissed suggestions that the bill was an “order from Beijing”.
According to South China Morning Post , she said: “It is out of our clear conscience and commitment to Hong Kong.”
According to The Guardian, she added: “This bill is not initiated by the Central People’s government. I have not received any instruction.”
Lam said that Hong Kong had to “move on” and that nobody wants it to be a “haven” for fugitives.
She also suggested that those who opposed the bill were doing so because they did not understand it.
Human rights safeguarded
Despite her determination to push forward, Lam said that she was not ignoring the backlash from the public.
She claimed that her administration had made “major concessions” to ensure that the bill’s safeguards for human rights met international standards.
Lam said: “I and my team have not ignored any views expressed on this very important piece of legislation. We have been listening and listening very attentively.”
According to SCMP, she promised that the safeguards in the bill would have a “legally binding effect” on the Hong Kong government, so that fugitives will only be extradited if conditions are met, such as the right to a fair trial.
Carrie Lam praised protesters
Lam also praised the protesters, saying that the fact that people took part in the rally demonstrated that the freedom of people in Hong Kong was not under threat.
According to SCMP, she said: “For those who have expressed their views, whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with us, I want to thank every one of you because… the scrutiny of our work is an important factor to enhance governance of Hong Kong.”
Lam also dismissed suggestions that she would step down from her post, citing “economic instability” and the need for a stable government.
Top image from Carrie Lam’s Facebook page and @austinwhk’s Twitter page.