Hong Kong’s protests, which started in June of 2019, were against plans to allow extradition to mainland China. Critics feared this could undermine judicial independence and endanger dissidents.
Until 1997, Hong Kong was ruled by Britain as a colony but then returned to China. Under the “one country, two systems” arrangement, it has some autonomy, and its people have more rights.
The bill was withdrawn in September but demonstrations continue and now demand full democracy and an inquiry into police actions. Clashes between police and activists grew violent at some point, with police firing live bullets and protesters attacking officers and throwing petrol bombs.
There have been two deaths: a man struck in the head by a brick allegedly thrown at him by protesters during a civil confrontation, and Chow Tsz-lok, a student protester, who fell to his death inside a parking lot during the riots.