Hong Kong activists parade mock coffin

Hong Kong activists have held a memorial for Marco Leung who fell to his death hanging up a banner.
Hong Kong activists have held a memorial for Marco Leung who fell to his death hanging up a banner.

A small group of protesters has paraded around Hong Kong government headquarters with a mock coffin of city leader Carrie Lam.

The march on Friday marks the one-month anniversary of the start of major protests sparked by Lam's proposal to change the extradition laws to allow suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial.

Lam has declared the legislation "dead" but protesters want her government to withdraw the bill formally among other demands.

Protest leader Leung Kwok-hung says Lam should apologise and step down.

The two dozen marchers were mostly older veteran protesters, in contrast to the students and other young people who have been at the center of the past month's demonstrations.

Earlier on Friday, the parents of a Hong Kong man who plunged to his death after putting up banners against divisive extradition legislation have urged young people to continue their struggle.

The young have been at the forefront of huge rallies against the legislation, which has plunged Hong Kong into chaos amid wider fears about the erosion of civil rights in the Chinese territory. Marco Leung's banners demanded a full withdrawal of the bill, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial.

"Every brave citizen who takes to the street is doing so because they love Hong Kong deeply," they said in a message read Thursday at a public memorial for their son, who died on June 14 at age 35. "Only by protecting themselves and staying alive can young people continue to speak up bravely against social injustices."

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam declared her effort to amend the extradition laws "dead" earlier this week but stopped short of formally withdrawing the bills. Activists have vowed to keep up the pressure until she does so. Many are also demanding her resignation.

The Chinese government's chief representative in Hong Kong said Thursday that the central government firmly supports Lam in continuing to govern. Wang Zhimin dismissed calls to exonerate protesters who have been arrested, saying it would be "a blatant challenge to the rule of law in Hong Kong."

"Regarding the recent series of violent incidents, all Hong Kong people, including those present, have expressed condemnation," he said in a speech to Beijing loyalists in Hong Kong.

Pro-democracy activists placed sunflowers and sang hymns at the memorial for Leung. He has been nicknamed the "Raincoat Man" for the yellow raincoat he was wearing when he died, just hours after Lam announced the indefinite suspension of the bills.

Australian Associated Press