The Latest: Pro-democracy HK lawmakers reject apology

A man holds an umbrella outside the Legislative Council following last weekend’s massive protest against the unpopular extradition bill in Hong Kong, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Hong Kong’s government headquarters reopened Tuesday as the number of protesters outside dwindled to a few dozen and life returned to normal in the former British colony. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

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HONG KONG (AP) — The Latest on protests in Hong Kong (all times local):

8 p.m.

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers aren’t satisfied with leader Carrie Lam’s public apology for how the government handled a highly unpopular extradition bill.

Legislator Claudia Mo said Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s apology was “completely unacceptable because she refused to address the demands of the entire Hong Kong community.”

Mo said it was “too little, too late” for Lam to say sorry.

Separately, Joshua Wong, the student leader of the 2014 “Umbrella Movement” protests, demanded that Lam step down.

“Not only is this apology not sincere, it is fake. We need to point out that Carrie Lam has created a governance crisis,” Wong told reporters.

He predicted “more and more rallies, actions or protests will happen soon” in Hong Kong, even though the current movement is leaderless and “more organic and more decentralized” than 2014’s protests.

An estimated 2 million people marched against the proposed extradition law on Sunday.


7:30 p.m.

An alliance of Hong Kong activists has repeated its demand that the city’s leader scrap a highly unpopular extradition bill and resign.

In a message distributed on social media, the alliance set a 5 p.m. Thursday deadline for the government to agree. If it fails to agree, the alliance said protesters will begin a “resistance movement” early Friday.

It was unclear how many people might heed that call. One of the groups that signed a notice about the plan has more than 35,000 members.

An earlier resistance effort involved young protesters slowing subway trains by blocking doors, among other tactics.

An estimated 2 million people marched against the proposed legislation on Sunday.


6 p.m.

Activists and pro-democracy lawmakers have rejected an apology from Hong Kong’s leader despite her pledge not to override public opinion by reviving an extradition bill that ignited massive protests.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam refused Tuesday to say the legislation would be permanently withdrawn. She also said she intended to finish her 5-year term.

After the news conference, Lam’s critics reiterated their calls for her to drop the unpopular extradition bill and step down.

Members of the Civil Human Rights Front, which helped organize a protest on Sunday by about 2 million people, said they were discussing next steps in the standoff.

Pro-democracy lawmakers also demanded that the legislation be scrapped and that an independent commission be set up to look into the police use of force during clashes with protesters last week.


4:15 p.m.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has apologized for an extradition bill that set off massive protests and indicated it is unlikely to be revived.

She also said at a news conference on Tuesday that she intends to finish her term as the city’s chief executive, suggesting she will not heed calls for her to step down.

Lam has been the focus of criticism from many in Hong Kong for having sought to push through the legislation, which would allow some suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

She said she wants a chance to “do better.”


3 p.m.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam plans a news conference Tuesday afternoon following massive protests against an extradition bill and calls for her to resign.

Lam has become the focus of derision by many in Hong Kong for having sought to push through the legislation, which would allow some suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

Lam said previously the legislation would be suspended, but protesters are demanding that it be scrapped altogether.

An estimated 2 million people marched against Lam and the legislation on Sunday. Government headquarters reopened Tuesday as the number of protesters dwindled to a few dozen.

The announcement of her 4 p.m. briefing did not say if Lam would answer questions from the media.


9:30 a.m.

Hong Kong’s government headquarters has reopened as the number of protesters gathered outside dwindled to a few dozen.

The demonstrations persisted into early Tuesday but by midmorning most of the protesters had gone home.

A routine meeting of the Executive Council was called off. Chief Executive Carrie Lam suspended work on the extradition bill that ignited the protests but still faces calls to resign for having sought to push through the legislation, which would allow some suspects to be tried in mainland Chinese courts.

Late Monday, Hong Kong’s police commissioner, Stephen Lo Wai-chung, held a news conference where he sought to defuse anger over aggressive police tactics during protests last week. He said only five of 15 people arrested during the clashes were charged with rioting,

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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