Pro-govt group cancels briefing on fugitive rally - RTHK
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Pro-govt group cancels briefing on fugitive rally

2019-06-14 HKT 14:26
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  • Safeguard HK told the media they were planning a rally on Sunday to support the extradition law bill. Photo: RTHK
    Safeguard HK told the media they were planning a rally on Sunday to support the extradition law bill. Photo: RTHK
  • Local CPPCC delegate Kennedy Wong says there is massive support for the extradition bill. Photo: Courtesy of Safeguard HK
    Local CPPCC delegate Kennedy Wong says there is massive support for the extradition bill. Photo: Courtesy of Safeguard HK
In a surprising move, a concern group set up to support the government's extradition law amendments has cancelled its media briefing without any reason.

The group, named Safeguard HK, had earlier sent invitations to the media for a briefing in which they were supposed to reveal their plan to hold a rally on Sunday in support of the controversial bill.

But hours later, it released a statement saying it had only learned on Thursday evening that another rally will be held on Sunday by the pro-democracy Civil Human Rights Front, and so it decided to cancel its own to avoid possible conflicts.

On the group's campaign website, it says more than 900,000 people have signed a petition in support of the fugitive law bill. The site also displays pictures of people holding banners in support of the amendments.

Critics, however, have suggested that a computer program is inflating the number of signatories.

The convenor of the group, local CPPCC delegate Kennedy Wong, had claimed last month that their online campaign had collected hundreds of thousands of signatures from the public in support of the law changes. He had also said that after explanations by top officials, people are developing a better understanding of the amendments.

The group invited the media on Friday morning to a press conference, saying that the group will hold a rally in support of the bill on Sunday and that it will apply for police permission. But the media briefing had been cancelled by noon.

The sudden cancellation comes as pressure mounts on the Carrie Lam administration to drop the controversial bill, with even members of her Executive Council voicing concerns about the situation.

Over a million people took the streets last Sunday, calling for the bill to be dropped. On Wednesday, tens of thousands of protesters had laid siege to the Legco complex and the government's headquarters as lawmakers were scheduled to start debate on the bill.

The protest forced Legco to postpone the discussions and on Thursday it said lawmakers would be informed of a new meeting date later on.

Last updated: 2019-06-14 HKT 17:01