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AKIPRESS.COM - Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced that a debate on a controversial extradition bill will be suspended, after hundreds of thousands of people in the territory protested against it, Aljazeera reports.
"There were indeed inadequacies, the bill has caused a lot of division in society," Lam said on Saturday. She said there were supporters on both sides of the debate over the legislation.
The extradition bill would allow Hong Kong's chief executive to send suspected offenders to places with which the territory has no formal extradition agreement for trial.
It would apply to Hong Kong residents and foreign and Chinese nationals living or travelling in the city to be sent to mainland China and has many concerned it may threaten the rule of law that underpins Hong Kong's international financial status.
Opponents of the bill fear it could make residents of the city vulnerable to politically-motivated charges in China's court system and comes as part of a wider move by Beijing to scale back the freedoms Hong Kong enjoys under the so-called "one country, two systems" principle put in place as it was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.