在上月的联合声明中，英国外交大臣杰里米•亨特(Jeremy Hunt)和加拿大外长克里斯蒂娅•弗里兰(Chrystia Freeland)对在香港的英国和加拿大公民以及香港的商业信心和国际声誉可能受到的影响表示担忧。
但是，大赦国际(Amnesty International)、人权监察(Human Rights Monitor)和人权观察(Human Rights Watch)在一份联合声明中辩称，最新提出的保障措施“不太可能提供真正且有效的保护”。
原文：Hong Kong marchers fill the streets in protest at extradition bill
Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in protest at the government’s extradition bill that critics fear would allow China to seize suspects in the territory and face trial on the mainland.
Police said 240,000 people took part but organisers claimed that at least 1m marched, which would make it the largest protest in the semi-autonomous region since the UK handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997.
The march was held just days after up to 180,000 attended a candlelit vigil to commemorate the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. Organisers used that vigil to drum up support for Sunday’s march.
Many of the protesters carried yellow umbrellas, a symbol of the mass democracy protests in 2014, emblazoned with slogans to “support freedom”.
“We have the responsibility to speak up. The extradition law is affecting Hong Kong’s future,” said Jenny Cheung, a 50-year-old protester who said she worried that the bill would result in foreign businesses and capital leaving Hong Kong.
“The government is not listening to the people at all,” said Jackie Tang, a 36-year-old who had never previously joined a protest.
Kulam Tseng, 40, said he feared the demonstration would achieve nothing. “I don’t think this will be effective, but it’s still something we need to do.”
The bill, which allows China to extradite anyone living or passing through the territory suspected of a criminal offence, has been condemned by business groups and foreign governments. The US, UK and Canada have publicly expressed concern, while the European Union has issued a formal diplomatic “démarche” protest note.
In a joint statement last month, UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, expressed concern at the potential impact on UK and Canadian citizens in Hong Kong, business confidence and Hong Kong’s international reputation.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office in Hong Kong responded by accusing the UK and Canada of “interfering in the legislative process of Hong Kong”.
In response to the outcry, the Hong Kong government has tweaked the proposals. It lifted the minimum sentencing threshold an accused must face before being eligible for extradition from three years to seven years imprisonment, and proposed that only extradition requests from the highest overseas prosecuting authorities would be accepted.
But in a joint statement, Amnesty International, Human Rights Monitor and Human Rights Watch argued that the latest proposed safeguards were “unlikely to provide genuine and effective protection”.
The government announced last month that it intended to fast-track the bill through Hong Kong’s legislative council. No date has been set for the final vote but the government has said it wants the council, which is mainly controlled by pro-Beijing lawmakers, to pass the bill by July.
In response to the march, a government spokesperson said: “We urge the legislative Council to scrutinise the bill in a calm, reasonable and respectful manner to help ensure Hong Kong remains a safe city for residents and business.”
Ahead of the march, the government issued a statement on Sunday rejecting concerns about the impact on business confidence and personal freedom.
“It is not correct to state or imply that the proposal will in any way impact on, interfere with, or have a chilling effect on the freedom of assembly, of the press, of speech, of academic freedom or publication, or relate to offences of a political nature,” it said.
Additional reporting by Alice Woodhouse