HONG KONG: A key Hong Kong protest group behind mass rallies against a controversial extradition Bill vowed on Tuesday (Jul 9) to hold fresh protests as they rejected a promise from the city's leader that the Bill was "dead".
"If our five demands are still not heard by Carrie Lam and her government, the Civil Human Rights Forum will continue to hold protests and assemblies," spokeswoman Bonnie Leung told reporters, adding that details of the new protests would be released in due course.
Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam announced on Tuesday that the widely-loathed proposal to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland "is dead", but she again stopped short of demands to immediately withdraw the Bill.
"There are still lingering doubts about the government's sincerity or worries (about) whether the government will restart the process with the Legislative Council. So I reiterate here, there is no such plan. The Bill is dead," she said.
She agreed to meet students in public without preconditions and said she recognised that the city was facing an unprecedented array of challenges.
But she shied away from other key protester demands, including calls for an independent judge to head a commission of inquiry into police tactics, saying the city's current police complaints mechanism was conducting its own investigation.
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University students, who have made up the bulk of protesters, shrugged off Lam's latest comments, saying that nothing more than a full withdrawal of the Bill will do.
"What we want is to completely withdraw the Bill. She is playing word games," said Chan Wai Lam William, General Officer of the Student Union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Lam's words about the Bill are "another ridiculous lie", tweeted leading democracy activist Joshua Wong, who was recently released from jail for his role in the 2014 protests.
"The Bill still exists in the 'legislative programme' until July next year."
Pro-democracry lawmaker Claudia Mo said: "A person cannot be resurrected. But then an object can always be remade ... and it boils down to our complete lack of trust and confidence (in the government)."
LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL TO REOPEN
Part of Hong Kong's Legislative Council will reopen on Thursday, more than a week after protesters stormed and vandalised the parliament building.
"The red alert will be lifted at 8am on Thursday," the Legislative Council Secretariat announced in a press release on Wednesday.
The office block of the Legislative Council complex will be reopened, while the main lobby and conference facilities will be closed for repair works.
All guided tours and services to the public in the complex will remain suspended until further notice.