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Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong mark six months of protests

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By Euronews
Pro-democracy protesters march on a street in Hong Kong, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019.
Pro-democracy protesters march on a street in Hong Kong, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Vincent Thian   -   Vincent Thian

Pro-democracy protesters took to the streets once again in Hong Kong, marking six months since the unprecedented movement began against a controversial extradition bill.

The organisers said 800,000 people protested while police said it was 183,000.

The protest movement has been successful in getting the government to scrap legislation that would have allowed Hong Kongers to be extradited to mainland China. But protesters have expanded their demands to include an investigation into police brutality, setting protesters free, and universal suffrage.

Impressive photos and video of the march showed what appeared to be tens of thousands of people marching through the centre of China's special administrative region.

It comes mere weeks after a local election resulted in a rise in pro-democracy candidates.

The march also comes days ahead of Human Rights Day, recognised by the United Nations on December 10.

"The human rights violations and humanitarian crisis in Hong Kong and China are reaching the tipping point now," protest organising group the Civil Human Rights Front posted on Facebook.

The group highlighted the theme of this year's human rights day is "youth stand up for human rights".

"As a member of international human rights regime, the Hong Kong government has obligation to prevent and stop human rights violations, including torture, inhuman and cruel treatment by law enforcement agency as well as restrictions on freedom of assembly," the march organisers posted on social media.

The protests in Hong Kong have garnered international attention and have been marked by images of violent clashes between demonstrators and police.

This was the first march to be sanctioned by police in months, though police specified later in the day that a second "public meeting" at the march's finishing point would not be authorised.

Police warned that they would take "necessary action" if protesters neglected their instruction.

An arrest hotline was set up by the protest group to help those taken into custody by police.

Additional sources • AFP