HONG KONG • Hong Kong activists have raised more than HK$5 million (S$870,000) in a crowdfunding campaign to take out newspaper advertisements in a bid to get a controversial extradition Bill on the agenda at the Group of 20 (G-20) summit this week.
Millions have taken to the streets of the former British colony this month to protest against the Bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial. They also say that the Bill could allow people to be targeted without receiving a fair trial or human rights protection.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has suspended the Bill in a dramatic climbdown, but the activists are demanding that it be scrapped altogether.
A draft of an ad that appeared on the group's gogetfunding.com page says: "We now need your support: get our voices heard at your governments and consulates; let freedom prevail at the upcoming G-20 summit and beyond.
"We can be saved, if you act now."
The ad is signed by Hong Kong Citizens, Vanguards of Freedom.
A senior Western diplomatic source, who declined to be named, said that while Hong Kong was not on the official G-20 agenda, it is still expected to be mentioned at the summit - which starts on Friday in Osaka, Japan - by a number of countries with stakes in the city.
Protesters plan to hold a silent march today to foreign consulates in Hong Kong to raise awareness among world leaders ahead of the summit, while the crowdfund campaign confirmed that ads would appear in five newspapers.
The campaign is bound to rile Beijing, after Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun said China would not allow the G-20 nations to discuss Hong Kong.
More than 22,000 people had raised HK$5.5 million within hours of the crowdfunding campaign's launch.