A Timeline of the Anti-ELAB Protests
The Five Demands:
1. Complete withdrawal of the anti-extradition amendment bill;
2. Retraction of the characterisation of the protests as riots;
3. Release and exonerations of arrested protesters;
4. Establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into police crimes;
5. Universal suffrage in elections for the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive.
On 13 February 2019, Carrie Lam's Government drafted amendments to Hong Kong’s extradition laws based upon an alleged murder case perpetrated by a Hongkonger in Taiwan. The bill allows extradition to both China and Taiwan, based on the 'One China' principle. Taiwan had refused to sign any extradition bill on that basis.
On 31 March 2019, the Extradition Law Amendment Bill (ELAB) was submitted to the Legislative Council for the first reading.
On 20 May 2019, the HK government decided to bypass the Bills Committee, and bring the ELAB directly to the second reading.
On 3 April 2019, there was a protest 130,000 strong against the Extradition Law Amendment Bill.
On 9 June 2019, 1,030,000 people went onto the streets to protest, breaking the historical record in Hong Kong. Chief Executive Carrie Lam acknowledged the tremendous number but refused to back down, insisting to continue the second reading on 12/6.
On 12 June 2019, a large number of peaceful protesters besieged the Legislative Council, a small portion of protesters clashed with the police, which had led to a disproportionally violent crackdown. Amnesty International’s team of experts analysed the event and had deemed the police violence in breach of human rights laws and standards.
Below shows the New York Times's investigation into the incident:
On 15 June 2019, Carrie Lam announces an indefinite suspension of the bill, instead of a withdrawal.
On 16 June 2019, two million protesters took to the streets in black, in memory of a suicide the previous day carried out in a desperate attempt to oppose the bill.
On 1 July 2019, protesters stormed the Legislature. Forms of peaceful non-cooperation and local protests proliferated thereafter.
On 21 July 2019, a mob stormed a metro station to carry out an indiscriminate attack against all passers-by. The police had received reports at least a day prior to the incident but they only arrived at the scene 39 minutes later, despite 24,000 emergency calls being made that night. Police stations were also closed in the faces of citizens. All evidence points to police-mob collusion.
Below shows the New York Times's investigation:
Across July and August 2019, rallies and other different forms of peaceful protests encompassing a variety of sectors occurred, including civil servants, doctors, and the financial sector.
On 5 August 2019, a city-wide strike was held across seven districts, violent clashes ensued. Meanwhile, a man was grievously injured by machete-wielding pro-Beijing mobs in Tseun Wan.
On 11 August 2019, a female first-aider was grievously injured in the eye by the police, sparking a mass protest in the Hong Kong International Airport the day after, paralyzing the air traffic in Hong Kong. Below shows footages from Now TV HK and Appledaily HK. In the first video, a bean bag round is visibly lodged in the first-aider's goggles from 24:24 to 24:30.
(We recommend a 0.75 playback speed)
On the same day of 11 August 2019, inhumane treatment of protesters was also witnessed in the Tai Koo metro station. Below shows footage from Appledaily HK.
On 31 August 2019, police stormed a metro station and attacked passengers indiscriminately after rallies earlier that day. Below shows footage from SCMP HK.
On 4 September 2019, Carrie Lam announced her plans to withdraw the ELAB bill. A move many have seen as 'too little, too late'.
On 1 October 2019, a protester was shot at point-blank range by a police officer, the bullet was 3cm away from his heart. Below shows the investigation by the New York Times.
On 4 October 2019, Carrie Lam's government circumvented the legislative process and enacted an anti-mask law through the colonial power of Emergency Ordinance.
On 20 October 2019, the Hong Kong Police was filmed intentionally spraying chemical towards a mosque in Kowloon. Below shows footage included in a CNA news report.
On 9 November 2019, the police moved to arrest 7 pro-democracy lawmakers for a brawl that happened at the legislature on 11 May 2019, over the presiding power in the bills committee for the government’s extradition proposal. (HKFP)
Between 11 November 2019 to 13 November 2019, protesters carried out, respectively and subsequently, 'Operation Dawn', 'Operation Daybreak', and 'Operation Morning', dedicated to paralyse the city, through blockage of traffic and citywide strikes.
On 12 November 2019, the police besieged a few universities in Hong Kong, with the Chinese University of Hong Kong being the most targeted (Video by Eyepress).
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University followed on the evening of 17 November. Below shows videos by BBC Newsnight.
On 18 November 2019, the Hong Kong High Court ruled the anti-mask law as unconstitutional (HKFP).
On 24 November 2019, a city-wide district council election was held with a record turnout rate of 71%. The pan-democratic camp took a record 389 of 452 seats (86.0%) while the pro-Beijing camp took 58 seats (12.8%), the remaining 5 went to independent candidates. (The NY Times)
On 8 December 2019, approximately eight hundred thousand protesters took to the streets in a rare sanctioned march, as per the organisers (HKFP).
This timeline records pivotal events in the ongoing protests. For violations of human rights by the police in particular, and the Chinese and HKSAR Government at large, see our record.