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    Police officer holds a sign during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, China June 12, 2019.

    Hong Kong Legislative Council Orders Evacuation as Protesters Storm Building

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    BEIJING, July 1 (Sputnik) - The Legislative Council (LegCo) Secretariat of Hong Kong issued a statement on Monday declaring an unprecedented red security alert and ordering that the building be evacuated amid growing violence as people protesting the city's extradition amendments attempt to storm the premises.

    "The Legislative Council ('LegCo') Secretariat has issued a Red alert today (1 July). When the Red alert is in force, all people should leave the LegCo Complex immediately," the statement read.

    Earlier in the day, the RTHK broadcaster reported that the Hong Kong police allegedly used batons and pepper spray to disperse protesters. At about 7:20 a.m. local time (11:20 p.m. on Sunday GMT) police officers wearing helmets and carrying shields reportedly tried to remove barricades that were set up by protesters to block a street leading to a square in Wan Chai District. The annual flag-raising ceremony marking Hong Kong's handover is held in Wan Chai.

    Mass rallies erupted in Hong Kong in early June, when the authorities were considering to adopt a bill designed to allow Hong Kong to extradite suspects to jurisdictions, with which the city does not have an extradition agreement, including mainland China.

    As a result of the protests, the city's authorities have indefinitely suspended the bill, while Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has made a public apology. Beijing backed her move, also stressing that issues related to Hong Kong are part of China's domestic policy, in which no one has the right to interfere.

    The protesters, however, demand complete withdrawal of the extradition amendments.

    Hong Kong is a special administrative region, which reunited with China in 1997 under the "one country, two systems" principle, so its governance and economic systems are separate from the rest of the country.

    Related:

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    Hong Kong Suspends Extradition Law Amendments After Large-Scale Protests - Reports
    China Backs Hong Kong Leader on Extradition Bill Delay
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    extradition, Extradition, protests, Protests, China, Hong Kong
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