Anti-extradition protesters march in Shatin. Photo: RTHK

Tens of thousands of people marched in Shatin, New Territories on Sunday to oppose the controversial extradition bill after armed police used batons and pepper spray to disperse the protesters in Sheung Shui on Saturday.

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At 3:10pm, protesters began their march at the Chui Tin Street Soccer Pitch next to the Sha Tin Che Kung Temple. They called for withdrawal of the extradition bill, universal suffrage, retraction of the official characterization of the June 12 protest as a “riot,” release of the arrested anti-extradition protesters and establishment of an independent commission to investigate police brutality. They called for the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

The organizers said it had been the first large-scale protest in Shatin over the last three decades. They said they would play on the street at 8pm the movie Lost In The Fumes, which is about Edward Leung Tin-Kei, spokesperson of the Hong Kong Indigenous.

The organizers also said the electoral officer should not have the right to bar Hong Kong people from joining Legislative Council elections.

Marchers call for the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. Photo: RTHK

In 2016, several localists, including Edward Leung and Chan Ho-tin, convenor of the Hong Kong National Party, were barred from joining the Legco election. In the same year, six pro-democracy lawmakers were disqualified because they had allegedly failed to fulfill the oath requirements.

In 2018, Agnes Chow Ting, standing committee member of Demosistō, and some other candidates were barred from joining the Legco by-election race.

Some marchers felt sick due to the hot weather on Sunday. At 4pm, protesters arrived at the public transport interchange near the Shatin MTR station, which was the ending point of the march.

New Town Plaza in Shatin Photo: RTHK

At 5pm, some protesters gathered around the Yuen Wo Road Sports Center and had a standoff with police. RTHK reported that police had used pepper spray on protesters several times.

Armed police at Yuen Wo Road Sports Centre Photo: RTHK

Read: HK protesters march, withdraw money from Bank of China

On Sunday morning, about 1,500 media workers, including journalists and photographers, held a silent protest for press freedom in Admiralty on Hong Kong Island.

At 10:30am, the organizers, including the Hong Kong Journalist Association (HKJA), the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association and five other media worker groups, began the march at Harcourt Garden and walked to the Office of the Chief Executive at 1 Tim Wa Avenue in Admiralty.

Marchers carried banners with slogans including, “Stop police violence, defend press freedom” and “Press freedom, no attack.”

Since large-scale protests against the extradition bill began on June 9, journalists often have been driven and pushed away, verbally abused or even beaten by police officers on several occasions, said Chris Yeung Kin-hing, chairman of HKJA.

“We demand the police abide by the Police Force Ordinance, to facilitate media reporting,” Yeung said, adding that the government should ensure the safety of media workers when they report about anti-government protests.

Yeung also said Chief Executive Carrie Lam should uphold press freedom, as she had promised to do during her campaign for chief executive in 2017.

He said HKJA will launch a Journalist Protection Fund to provide legal assistance to the media workers who were impolitely treated by the police during their works. He said details of the fund will be announced soon.

Chris Yeung (center) says the government should ensure the safety of the media workers during their works. Photo: Facebook

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