The MPs in the UK Should Take action against Extradition Law in Hong Kong

Dear MP,

I am writing to bring your attention about both the content and the short consultation period allowed for the proposed changes to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance (often referred to as Extradition Law) and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance in Hong Kong. This bill, if passed, will pose an imminent threat to civil rights in the former British territory and have serious effects on the  public interests in the UK, because of its erasure of the judicial boundary between Hong Kong and Mainland China. The European Union has lodged a formal diplomatic summon with the Hong Kong government over this matter[1], and the United Kingdom and Canada have also issued a statement.[2] However, I am afraid that these statements were mere lip service, and stronger action from your Party, Parliament  and the UK government will be necessary.

The Hong Kong government currently has extradition agreements with 20 countries[3], including the UK. The proposed amendment will extend extradition coverage to laws of Mainland China which has a track record of arbitrary enforcement and interpretation of the law. Once enacted, the ordinance threatens all people regardless of their nationality. For example, activists, political dissidents and even foreign tourists or travellers could be subject to arrest and be detained while they are in transit, travelling, working and living in Hong Kong. This will pose a serious threat to British citizens in Hong Kong, especially to international corporations and NGOs that have conducted sensitive work that may be subject to arbitrary interpretation of laws in China. China has carried out thousands of executions every year since 1989, more executions than carried out in the rest of the world. [4]

Until now, the judicial separation between Hong Kong and Mainland China, and the strong track record of free speech and the rule of law, has allowed international organisations and British businesses to thrive in Hong Kong and use the city as a base camp for their East Asian operations. Although the Hong Kong government has claimed that ‘political criminals’ will not be extradited, in the case of the imprisonment and prosecution of the Causeway Bay booksellers in Mainland China, the booksellers have been charged by the Mainland Chinese government with criminal offences like traffic offences, illegal business operations, libel, fraud or extortion. These amendments would advance the Mainland Chinese government’s suppression of dissent as well as deprive Hong Kong citizens and foreign nationals in Hong Kong of their legal protection.

There are an estimated 200,000 British citizens in Hong Kong, and a further 3 million there who hold British National (Overseas) status; and there are also an estimated 100,000 Hongkongers in the UK. This law may seem to be a local law in Hong Kong, but would in effect threaten the very existence of British business and cultural connections to East Asia.

 

Tens of thousands of peaceful protesters and unarmed civilian have gathered in Hong Kong for protests against the extradition bill since 9 June. Police in Hong Kong has fired teargas at the demonstrators and beaten protesters, tens of protesters injured.[5]

 

I urge you, as a Member of Parliament, to request your party, Parliament and Government to take further action to oppose the introduction of this proposed extradition law in Hong Kong, in order to secure British public interests and fulfil the UK's duty to "high degree of autonomy" and the rights and freedoms in Hong Kong set down in the Sino-British Joint Declaration as well as International Bill of Human Rights. The Parliament should immediately set up an independent commission, to investigate human rights violation in Hong Kong and China; to adopt and enact Global Human Rights Accountability Act to impose whole range of human rights accountability including travel ban and property sanctions against all perpetrators in China and Hong Kong.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Note: Thanks for the Deryck Chan‘s letter, https://www.facebook.com/deryckchan/posts/10158185794344796

I revised and added contents. Welcome copy and paste and give up my copyright too.

[1] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-extradition-eu/eu-lodges-formal-diplomatic-note-against-contentious-hong-kong-extradition-bill-idUSKCN1SU0OS?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-and-canada-joint-statement-on-hong-kong

[3] https://www.doj.gov.hk/eng/laws/table4ti.html

[4] See Amnesty International Report from 1989 to 2018.

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2019/jun/12/hong-kong-protest-demonstrators-and-police-face-off-over-extradition-bill-live

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