Thousands support Hong Kong human rights campaigners
More than 3,600 people have signed a petition supporting human rights campaigners in Hong Kong.
Councillors were asked to display yellow and black flags on their desks at full council to support the campaign group Sheffield Stands with Hong Kong.
A plaque was also presented which read: “This is presented to Sheffield Council to thank its support of the people of Hong Kong in their fight for freedom and democracy.”
The group of Hongkongers are asking for help to support and safeguard fundamental human rights against the Communist regime of China.
There have been violent protests in Hong Kong, and peaceful ones in Sheffield, against proposals to allow extradition to the mainland.
The proposals would have meant criminal suspects could be extradited but opponents feared it would result in unfair trials, violent treatment and activists and journalists would be targeted.
Cecilia Cheong and Angus Fong presented the 3,625 name petition. Mr Fong said: “We stand before you not only as Sheffield Stands with Hong Kong but as one of seven million Hongkongers.
“Since being handed back to China in 1997 our home has changed beyond recognition. The extradition bill is the latest in a long series of attempts to erode human rights and freedom.
“The election of the Hong Kong government-endorsed widespread police brutality. Corruption is rife and reports of Triad gangs and police in cahoots wipes out any confidence in law enforcement.
“We no longer feel safe or free and it no longer feels like home.”
Council Leader Julie Dore said she was really pleased that campaigners viewed Sheffield as their second home.
“Sheffield has a very long tradition and history of welcoming people from across the world, and showing our support for people’s human rights.
“We have shown solidarity with you and your peaceful protests in Hong Kong for your right to keep the policy agreed in the 1997 handover. Sheffield wishes to support you in any way possible.
“If you feel unsafe, bring it to our attention and we will ensure you can go about your lives in Sheffield in safety.”