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Thousands join largest HK protest rally

More or less ten thousand protesters have marched through the streets of Hong Kong in the largest anti-government rally recently. For the first time since August, police allowed the rally by the Civil Human Rights Front which is a pro-democracy group. However, organisers said around 800,000 joined while police said 183,000.

Police said they have arrested 11 people in raids before the rally and also a handgun was seized. The protests, however, started in June over a controversial extradition bill, and have now evolved into a broader anti-government thing.

“I will fight for freedom until I die,” said June, a 40-year-old mother.

Anti-government protests have now taken place the semi-autonomous Chinese territory for more than six months. Civil Human Rights Front, the organisers of the rally said this is the government’s last chance to fulfil their demands, which also include an independent inquiry into the police’s handling of the protests.

This has become increasingly violent in recent times and also raised the question of how the troublesome situation can be stopped. Yet, Sunday’s march was mostly peaceful.

Earlier, police revealed a Glock semi-automatic pistol and 105 bullets were discovered during raids along with knives and firecrackers as well. Around 6,000 people have been arrested and hundreds injured, including police, since June because of this incident.

Hong Kong’s protests started in June against the plans to allow extradition to mainland China where critics feared this could undermine the judicial independence and endanger dissidents as well. However, the bill was withdrawn in September but protests continued after that as well.

Until 1997, Hong Kong was ruled by Britain as a colony but then it was returned to China. Under the “one country, two systems” arrangement, it has some autonomy, and their people have more rights too.

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