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Hong Kong leader says sorry again, protesters reject apology

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 18, 2019 - Duration: 02:13s

Hong Kong leader says sorry again, protesters reject apology

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has issued another apology for introducing an extradition bill that has seen more than a million people take to the streets in protest.

But pro-democracy groups rejected the public apology and demanded she step down.

Mia Womersley reports

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Hong Kong leader says sorry again, protesters reject apology

Another public apology from Hong Kong's leader on Tuesday (June 18).

Carrie Lam appeared both contrite and defiant, saying sorry and signalling the end of the controversial extradition bill that she first promoted and then postponed on Saturday (June 15).

Following some of the most violent and largest protests since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

But she has crucially stopped short of saying the bill would be "withdrawn" completely.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE CARRIE LAM, SAYING: "I have heard you loud and clear and have reflected deeply on all that has transpired.

The concerns over the past few months have been caused by deficiencies in the work of the SAR government over the amendment exercise.

I personally have to shoulder much of the responsibility.

This has lead to controversies, (unclear word) and anxieties in society.

For this I offer my most sincere apology to all people of Hong Kong." During the address, Lam refused to satisfy protesters persistent calls to scrap the bill altogether and step down immediately.

Simply saying that it wouldn't be re-introduced during her time in office if public fears persist.

Protest organizers and opposition Democrats said Lam remained tone-deaf to public demands.

They want her gone, the bill scrapped and assurances given that protesters won't be prosecuted on rioting charges.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOSISTO PARTY MEMBER AND DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST, JOSHUA WONG, SAYING: "What we realised is Carrie Lam just choose to say sorry and that's all and totally ignore the requests of Hong Kong citizens.

After one million people join the rally, it resulted in the announcement of suspension.... Now, she does not care at all.

I would say that it's time for a lesson, it's time to have a lesson to let Carrie Lam learn what it means by respect." Lam's climb-down, with the approval of China's Communist Party leaders, was the biggest policy reversal since 1997.

Critics say the bill - which would allow people to be extradited to mainland China to face trial - would undermine Hong Kong's independent judiciary and rule of law.

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