Thousands of pro-democracy supporters protest in Hong Kong

Thousands of pro-democracy supporters have taken to the streets of Chinese-controlled Hong Kong to protest against what they say is the Beijing-backed government's use of the courts to pursue its opponents.

Demonstrators marched through the semiautonomous Chinese region's streets on Sunday — the same day as a national holiday marking the founding of the People's Republic of China.

They carried banners calling for the rejection of "authoritarian rule" and demanded the city's Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen step down. The protesters said his request for the courts to review sentences for three pro-democracy activists, which resulted in them being sent to prison, eroded the city's rule of law.

Organizers said 40,000 people turned out, but police estimated 4,300 attended, according to the South China Morning Post.