SAY NO TO GOVERNMENT’S EXTRADITION PROPOSALS! Join the Rally Starting on Wed June 12th outside LegCo.

【全港反送中聯席】在大遊行前繼續努力, 準備了一份雜誌式的英文單張,由 Margaret Ng吳靄儀大律師行文,詳細為國際人士和在港英語閱讀人士補課。

Why are Hong Kong people so angry

Because the Government is pushing through a law to give the Chief Executive the power to surrender ANYONE IN HONG KONG to the mainland of China to be tried or imprisoned without so much as giving time to consult the public or the international business community even though this affects their interests profoundly, and may undermine Hong Kong’s rule of law and human rights protection.

Under present law, no extradition can be made from Hong Kong to “other parts of China” i.e. mainland China, Macau and Taiwan.  This is a deliberate protection established since before the Handover to retain confidence in Hong Kong because people did not trust the legal system and human rights record of China.  The Government now calls this a “loophole”, and says that it must be plugged urgently, on the pretext of a homicide in Taiwan committed by a Hong Kong resident.

This pretext no long works– Taiwan has refused to have the suspect under the proposed scheme which compromises Taiwan’s sovereignty.  The Government has brushed aside other ways of dealing with the homicide – such as changing the law to enable the Hong Kong courts to try the case in Hong Kong — and insisted that its proposals must be passed by LegCo before July.

The Government, with the support of pro-government legislators, is violating the established procedure.  Only 20 days were allowed for consultation before the bill was introduced.  Examination in the bills committee was abolished, and 12 June was set as the date for the bill to be debated in LegCo on and secretly set to be passed into law by 27 June!

Who are affected

ANYONE IN HONG KONG” includes persons in transit, foreign nationals living and working in Hong Kong, tourists and visitors.  Few maybe immediately targeted, but all are exposed to risk, with their assets at risk of being seized or frozen.  This will create a chilling effect on speech, press and political freedoms.   Investment and business headquarters will move out in the uncertain environment.  Hong Kong will cease to be treated as separate from China.   The worsening of Hong Kong’s economy will hit everyone

Warnings ignored by an arrogant Government: 

The legal profession, the press, chambers of commerce had all sounded warning from the start;  parliamentarians and governments of the US, EU, UK and Canada had expressed deep concern and called for the bill’s postponement; over 100,000 people have marched in protest in April; petitions of hundreds of schools, universities and other groups have been signed in protest.  Yet the Government and pro-government legislators are pushing ahead, spurning all opposition as based on misunderstanding, having been misled, and ignorance of the law. 


The Government’s false assurances

Government’s assurance“Sufficient human rights protection” – No one can be extradited for “political crimes” but only for crimes which are crimes in both Hong Kong and the place requesting the extradition (“dual criminality”)

FalseThis is no protection.  Politically targeted persons are invariably charged with non-politcal crimes: e.g. bookseller Gui Minhai was charged with manslaughter by reckless driving.  People who have been doing business with or in China are exposed to charges of bribery for money which they customarily have to paid to obtain licences and permits. 

Government’s assurance“The courts will safeguard the human rights

False:    Under present Hong Kong law, the courts cannot stop a person’s extradition because he will not be guaranteed a fair trial.  They can only decide whether, on the face of supporting documents provided by the requesting government, there is a prima facie case against the person, and that the crime he/she is suspected of is an offence on a long list of offences. 

Government’s assurance“The proposed arrangements comply with the UN model”:

FalseThe UN’s Model Extradition requires extradition to be refused if there is no guarantee of humane treatment and fair trial.  The Government’s proposals violate this condition by permitting a person to be surrendered to the mainland of China.

Government’s assurance“The proposed arrangements is similar to those in Canada and in the UK”

False:  Under UK law, the extradition order made by a Minister against a person can be challenged in Court on the ground that it is incompatible with his human rights, including his right to fair trial and humane treatment.  This cannot be done under Hong Kong law.

The recent “Concession” by the Government does not help: Still no legal guarantee of fair trial!!!

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