A pro-Beijing lawmaker (centre right-in white vest) is escorted from legislature on Saturday. STR / AFP
Anger over Hong Kong's controversial plans to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland boiled over in the city's legislature on Saturday as rival lawmakers scuffled with each other in chaotic scenes.
The legislative meeting on the government's disputed extradition bill was originally chaired by pro-democracy lawmaker James To, but the pro-Beijing camp earlier this week forcibly unseated To and replaced him with their choice of chairman, Abraham Shek.
Rancour between the two political camps exploded with rival lawmakers shouting and tussling amidst a dense pack of reporters, as pro-democracy lawmakers tried to seize the microphone and stop their counterparts in the legislature from controlling the meeting.
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.
"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.
But pro-Beijing lawmaker Shek insisted it is "legal" for him to host the meeting.
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 semi-autonomous financial hub's international appeal and tangle people up in China's court system.
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.
But Hong Kong's pro-Beijing government has argued the bill must be passed quickly to stop 20-year-old resident Chan Tong-kai evading justice for the murder of his girlfriend during a Valentine's holiday in Taipei last year.
Chan admitted to Hong Kong police that he killed his pregnant girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing, also from Hong Kong, and then flew home. Police were unable to charge him for murder or extradite him to Taiwan because no agreement is in place.
Taiwan authorities said on Friday that it has no intention of asking Hong Kong to return a murder suspect because it is concerned that Hong Kong's extradition law puts its people at risk of being snatched by China.
Chiu Chui-cheng, deputy minister of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, said Taiwanese people feared ending up like Lee Ming-che, a democracy activist who disappeared on a trip to the Chinese mainland and was later jailed for "subverting state power."
Hong Kong was plunged into a fresh political crisis on Sunday night after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to thwart a proposed extradition law.
The measures are part of Beijing’s efforts to consolidate its increasingly authoritarian grip over the global financial hub following the imposition of a national security law in June, which critics see as a tool to crush dissent.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday she hoped a peaceful weekend anti-government protest was the start of an effort to restore peace and that dialogue with peaceful protesters would
The announcement follows the confirmation of Rashid Rover's landing site, which will be the Atlas crater, located at 47.5°N, 44.4°E, on the southeastern outer edge of Mare Frigoris (Sea of Cold), chosen to maintain flexibility during operations. Mare Frigoris lies in the far lunar north.
Through this partnership, doctors from Aster DM Healthcare will visit Faruk Medical City's state-of-the-art facilities to consult and provide surgical services which are not locally available and for which patients have to travel overseas.
The financial sanction, amounting to Dhs1,925,000, is the result of the findings of an examination conducted by the CBUAE, which revealed that the exchange house failed to obtain letters of no objection from the CBUAE, to enter into certain business relationships.
Sheikh Mohammed expressed his appreciation for the role intellectuals, scholars and scientists play in enhancing human progress. He said the UAE places the highest priority on creating a knowledge-based society and economy in which ideas and innovation drive growth.