Celebrities react to Hong Kong Protests

Jon Snow, Journalist and Actor ("Ali G Indahouse")

Residents of Hong Kong are protesting a proposed bill that would allow China to request the extradition of those alleged to have violated Chinese law, including Hong Kong residents and those merely transiting through Hong Kong. Due to pressure from those in the business community, some "commercial offences" (e.g. tax evasion) have been removed from the list of extraditable crimes; however, there is widespread fear that China will not only extradite those accused of criminal acts (such as murder and rape) but also use the bill to target dissidents, activists, members of political, religious, and/or ethnic groups, and sexual minorities.

More info and celebrity reactions under the cut:

While Hong Kong officials have stated that the courts of Hong Kong, not China, will be the ones ultimately deciding which extradition requests to approve, and have further promised that only those accused of offences for which the mandatory minimum sentences are at least seven years would be extradited, many are concerned that it threatens the autonomy of Hong Kong supposedly guaranteed by the "one country, two systems" policy. Critics also oppose the widespread use of torture, arbitrary detention, and forced confessions in the Chinese justice system.

Over one million residents of Hong Kong (population: seven million) took to the streets to protest the proposed bill on Wednesday, with more protests expected in the coming days. What started off peacefully soon turned violent; the police responded to the crowds with tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets, with protestors forced to use umbrellas as shields. Seventy-two people have been injured. The protests, the largest seen in Hong Kong since the British handed the colony back to China in 1997, nearly coincided with 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre (June 4, 1989).
Ian Bremmer, Author

Ai Weiwei, Artist and Dissident

Denise Ho, Singer and Activist

Tommie Sunshine, DJ

Arman Dzidzovic, Documentary Filmmaker

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