US Senate passes Hong Kong human rights bills

The US Senate passed two bills on Wednesday that will support human rights in Hong Kong prompted by the ongoing siege of Polytechnic University.

President Donald Trump has eight days left, excluding Sundays, to sign the bill or use his veto.

The siege at the university has been ongoing since last Sunday where the Chinese authorities surrounded buildings and arrested surrendering protesters.

Over 1,000 protesters have been arrested with just under 100 students left inside Polytechnic .

Some remaining protesters stuck in Polytechnic attempted to use the sewers as an escape route.

Six people were arrested after they emerged from the sewers on Wednesday and dozens are still inside.

Due to the escalated circumstances, Scottish universities including Edinburgh and Aberdeen have called on their students currently studying abroad to return home for their own safety.

The Background

The protests began in April of this year as a response to a planned extradition bill which would mean suspected criminals under investigation by Chinese authorities could be transferred to China.

Within weeks of the protests, the bill was suspended.

However, demonstrations continued as protesters demanded the bill to be completely abolished.

The protesters have also demanded an investigation into police brutality to start as the demonstrations grew violent and want changes to be made in the way mainland China handles Hong Kong.

The issue is that after being under British Rule and passed over to China in 1997, a mini constitution was formed making Hong Kong a semi autonomous state but this document is only valid for 50 years.

It is yet unclear what will happen when it expires in 2047 and if more violence will follow.

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