Hong Kong protests: what you need to know

Anti-extradition demonstrators march for democratic reforms in Hong Kong.
Anti-extradition demonstrators march for democratic reforms in Hong Kong.
Image: REUTERS/Edgar Su

Hong Kong continues to dominate global news headlines as protesters demonstrate against the extradition bill on country's streets.

Since June, thousands have taken to the streets to oppose the proposed law, lamenting that it would allow the authorities to oppress people whose political views are different from the government's. 

Extradition bill

If approved, the bill would allow for those suspected of crime to be deported to mainland China, where the ruling Communist party controls the courts, according to the Guardian.

The bill's approval was suspended by Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam, but the protesters remain dissatisfied and are calling for the bill's complete withdrawal. 

Demands

Protesters have demanded the media refrain from referring to them as "rioters" instead of protesters; the unconditional release of protesters; and an independent inquiry into police behaviour.

Knock-on effects

A BBC report claims that the effects of the protests are now being felt by the country's hospitality industry, as countries including the US, UK and Ireland warn their citizens to exercise caution when visiting Hong Kong. 

Travellers are also feeling the effects as flights to and from Hong Kong continue to get cancelled. Joining that trend is South African Airways, which announced the cancellation of flights on Monday. 

The airline's Tlali Tlali said Hong Kong's authorities blamed this on the ongoing protests, but assured that those affected would be helped. 

"The authorities in Hong Kong have suspended air operations to and from the airport. Assistance will be provided to all ticketed customers holding an SAA ticket [only] via any SAA call centre, city travel office or your own travel agent."

Hong Kong riot police were filmed using heavy-handed tactics on August 11 2019. Footage shows a crowd of journalists around a young demonstrator surrounded by police. Hong Kong is currently experiencing the largest protests to ever affect the city.

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