We save Hong Kong by ourselves!
No acceptance to such regulations!
On the last day of March, rain didn’t stop more than a million HongKongers from starting a mass parade towards Civic Square to object the amendment of the extradition regulation in Hong Kong.
About one year ago, a man from Hong Kong murdered his girlfriend in Taiwan. However, since he escaped back to Hong Kong, he could neither be caught by Hong Kong’s judicial system, nor the Taiwanese judicial system, and the case remains unsolved till date. This case is one of many that reflects current flaws of extradition legislation, prompting calls to the Hong Kong government for amendments to extradition law.
On the 12th of February, the government proposed amendments to allow the surrender of fugitives to jurisdictions in which the city had no extradition deal, including Macau, Taiwan and the mainland. As a result, locals started to worry Beijing could use this against political dissidents.
“This is not just [a] bad law,” said one of the spokespersons of Civil Human Rights Front before the parade, “but will be the worst ever law to be implemented in Hong Kong. Why? [Because] it’s going to catch not only HongKongers, but anyone, anyone, whatever your nationality or ethnicity in Hong Kong.” She told the public that the government was using a judicial cloak for their political purposes and emphasized the profound influence of this law on everyone.
Demosisto was one of the organizations that joined the protest. They printed the slogan “no extradition to China” in several languages. “I think this is an international issue,” said Leung Ho Wun, a member of Demosisto, “Everyone in Hong Kong should know that [the government is proposing amendments of extradition legislation]” She also shared her view on the case of murder, saying that the legislation should only include people between Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Many university students also participated in this protest.Many university students also participated in this protest, including Mr. Ho, a student from the Press Committee of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Joined by other members of the PolyU Press Committee, he pointed out that the [legal system] in the mainland is different from that of Hong Kong.
Ms. Kwok from Social Work of Baptist University also holds the same view. “The judicial systems of Hong Kong and mainland China are different,” said Ms. Kwok. “Review the past regulations for fugitives, and we can see that there are three main players; the judiciary, the legislative council and the Chief Executive. But now the system has become disguised where everything is decided by the government and no one can act as a gatekeeper.”
Currently, mainland China and Hong Kong both have formally finalized individual extradition agreements with 29 and 19 countries respectively. A person in Hong Kong who is wanted in a prescribed place for prosecution, or for the imposition or enforcement of a sentence, in respect of a relevant offence against the law of that place may be arrested and surrendered to that place in accordance with the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. But there also exist restrictions. For example, one shall not be surrendered if the offense is about political character, regardless of how the prescribed place describes that offense. In addition, recently, nine economic crimes have been exempted from a controversial proposal to allow the transfer of fugitives from the city to mainland China, Taiwan and Macau.
In spite of the public objection, Carrie Lam says the government will still implement the extradition bill. As the Chief Executive said, the bill is not specifically tailor-made for mainland China and she thought public understanding of the proposal was wrong.
The bill will be tabled at the Legislative Council on Wednesday as scheduled.