Wednesday 4 September 2019 8:49 am

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam expected to withdraw controversial extradition bill

Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, is reportedly set to announce the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill that sparked three months of protests in the territory.

The South China Morning Post reported that Lam would announce the formal withdrawal of the proposed bill later on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources. Other local media outlets also reported on a possible withdrawal.

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The withdrawal of the controversial bill, which would have allowed Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China, is one of the main demands of pro-democracy protestors who have held demonstrations in the territory since June, plunging it into its worst political crisis in decades.

Although Lam has previously said the bill was “dead”, she had refused to confirm whether it had been officially withdrawn. The chief executive’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hong Kong, a former British colony that was returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, is governed under the “one country, two systems” framework – designed to afford the city some autonomy.

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Protesters regard the proposed extradition bill as an erosion of those freedoms, and the demonstrations have evolved into wider pro-democracy protests.

Main image credit: Getty