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Photos: Anarchy in Hong Kong parliament as politicians scuffle over extradition row

Two sides of the row were arguing over who was leading a meeting to discuss the proposed extradition policy.

Hong Kong Extradition law Pro-democracy lawmaker Wu Chi-wai tangles with security guards Source: Vincent Yu/PA Images

ANGER OVER HONG Kong’s controversial plans to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland boiled over in the city’s legislature today as rival lawmakers scuffled with each other in chaotic scenes.

The tension between the two sides – one led by pro-democracy lawmaker James To and the other by pro-Beijing member Abraham Shek – reached a crescendo over who controlled a meeting to discuss the government’s controversial proposals. 

Hong Kong Extradition Law Source: Kin Cheung/PA Images

Rancour between the two political camps then exploded with rival lawmakers shouting and tussling amidst a dense pack of reporters.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Gary Fan collapsed and was carried out from the chamber on a stretcher, while others from the pro-Beijing camp claimed they were wounded.

Hong Kong Extradition law Pro-democracy lawmaker Chan Chi-chuen, center behind, scuffles with pro-Beijing lawmaker Cheng Wing-shun, center front Source: Vincent Yu/PA Images

“We couldn’t possibly agree to the suggestion that our meeting chaired by James To should be suspended in any way, because it is completely constitutional and legal,” pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo said after the meeting. 

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Shek insisted it is “legal” for him to host the meeting.

Hong Kong Extradition Law Source: Kin Cheung/PA Images

Extradition fears

Hong Kong’s government is pushing a bill through the city’s legislature which would allow case-by-case extraditions to any jurisdictions it doesn’t have an already agreed treaty with, including mainland China, Macau and Taiwan.

The plan has sparked huge protests and mounting alarm within the city’s business and legal communities – as well as foreign governments – who fear it will hammer the city’s international appeal and tangle people up in China’s court system.

Hong Kong Extradition Law Pro-democracy lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai lies on the floor after the clash Source: Kin Cheung/PA Images

Historically Hong Kong has baulked at mainland extraditions because of the opacity of China’s criminal justice system and its liberal use of the death penalty.

Tens of thousands of people hit the streets last month to protest against the bill.

With reporting from Seán Murray

© AFP 2019 

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