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Tuesday September 17th, 2019 1:07PM

The Latest: Hong Kong session delayed as protest gathers

By The Associated Press
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HONG KONG (AP) — Latest on the debate around Hong Kong extradition legislation (all times local):

11 a.m.

11:03 a.m.

The secretariat of Hong Kong's Legislative Council says it has delayed the start of a legislative session on a contentious extradition bill as protesters massed outside to block entry to the chamber and government headquarters.

A statement from the government's press service said the session scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday would be "changed to a later time to be determined" by the secretariat. Council members would be notified of the time of the meeting later, the statement said.

An overwhelmingly young crowd of demonstrators filled roads in the Wan Chai district to block access to the government offices. Many took the day off from work and classes to press their case that the amendments to the extradition bill would erode the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's civil liberties.

___

10:30 a.m.

Hundreds of protesters have blocked access to Hong Kong's legislature and government headquarters in a bid to block debate on a highly controversial extradition bill that would allow accused people to be sent to China for trial.

The overwhelmingly young crowd of demonstrators filled roads in the Wan Chai district. Many had taken the day off from work and classes Wednesday to press their case that the amendments to the extradition bill would erode the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's civil liberties.

Under its "one country, two systems" framework, Hong Kong was guaranteed its own social, legal and political systems for 50 years following its handover from British rule in 1997. However, China's ruling Communist Party has been seen as increasingly reneging on that agreement by forcing through unpopular legal changes.

___

8:50 a.m.

Hundreds of protesters have surrounded government headquarters in Hong Kong as the territory's legislature prepare to open discussion on a highly controversial extradition law that would allow residents accused of wrongdoing to be sent to China for trial.

The overwhelmingly young crowd of demonstrators overturned barriers and tussled with police Wednesday morning as they sought to enter government headquarters and offices of the Legislative Council.

Under its "one country, two systems" framework, Hong Kong was guaranteed the right to retain its own social, legal and political systems for 50 years following its handover from British rule in 1997. However, China's ruling Communist Party has been seen as increasingly reneging on that agreement by forcing through unpopular legal changes.

A vote on the amended laws is scheduled for June 20.

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