Hong Kong leader condemns violence against police, labels protesters ‘rioters’


Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (R) and Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu speak to media over an extradition bill protest in Hong Kong, China July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Joyce Zhou

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Monday protesters involved in the latest clashes with the police could be described as “rioters” and that she supported police upholding the law and seeking those responsible.

Lam made the comments at a hospital where three police officers were being treated for injuries sustained in skirmishes on Sunday with demonstrators angry about a controversial extradition bill.

Hong Kong has been rocked by a string of large and sometimes violent street protests over the past month over the now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face trial in courts under ruling Communist Party control.

Critics of the bill say it threatens Hong Kong’s rule of law and want it completely withdrawn and Lam to step down.

Reporting by Anne Marie Roantree, Donny Kwok, Felix Tam and John Ruwitch; Editing by Michael Perry

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