Hong Kong extradition law: do pro-Beijing factions have legitimate concerns about crime in China?

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June 30, 2019 04:35:04

Shortly after Valentine's Day, Chan Tong-kai strangled his pregnant girlfriend, filled her body in a pink suitcase and dumped her in the bushes near a Taiwanese train station.

Key points:

  • Pro-Beijing activists claim that Hong Kong will become a "refuge for fugitives"
  • The extradition proposal has broad political protections, supporters argue
  • Human Rights Watch says the promises are meaningless and in bad faith

Then he returned to Hong Kong, where he is unlikely to do justice to killing Poon Hiu-wing.

The case, full of salacious details and an emotional emotion for the family of the killed woman, became a catalyst for the extradition agreement proposed by Hong Kong.

It was cut short as a "Trojan horse" due to radical changes that could see the alleged perpetrators sent to China.

Opponents of the proposed law fear that dissidents may be compensated with invented accusations and harbor a deep distrust of Chinese courts' ability to guarantee a fair trial.

Since then Taiwan has not asked for the extradition of Chan if Hong Kong approved the "politically motivated" legislation, removing the premises for the amendments.

The organizers have estimated that about 2 million people have swept the streets of Hong Kong this month to protest the proposed changes, and new protests are brewing again this weekend, with a pro-police demonstration scheduled for Sunday and a protest pro-democracy to align with July 1 anniversary of Hong Kong delivery in 1997 Monday.

But among the unrest on the bill that have been suspended, are there legitimate concerns within the pro-Beijing camp that criminals could get away with murder?

& # 39; This policy can remedy the gaps in our law & # 39;

Dramatic protests showed police firing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets.

But Fu Zhenzhong, president of the Defending Hong Kong campaign, said he supported Beijing and will take part in the pro-police protest on July 30th.

"Most of our members are in Hong Kong and they too love China because we are Chinese," he said.

"This policy can remedy the shortcomings of our law".

He said police forces played a crucial role in maintaining the order, while many of the protesters "use their freedom extremely and abuse their freedom".

"It is bad because the protesters threaten the stability of society," he said.

Richard Cullen, professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, stated that the justification for the extradition amendments was "completely healthy", adding that "guarantees are widespread and solid".

He found it unlikely that the bill would be used for political purposes and said the Chinese judicial system was "all but perfect, but it is definitely improving".

"It is not the Maoist system that was absolute," he said.

& # 39; Double criminality & # 39; and get away with the murder

Regina Ip, president of the New People & # 39; s Pro-Beijing Party and former minister of security, said the extradition agreement is necessary to combat cross-border crime, such as drug trafficking, money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

"China has publicly stated that there are at least 300 fugitives from mainland China – probably people involved in the corruption of senior officials or in the management of illegal activities – that are hiding in Hong Kong," he said.

"It is known that these people live a life of luxury in our six-star hotels.

"We should not allow Hong Kong to be a refuge for fugitives."

Ms. Ip said that there are adequate protections – including "double crime" (which means that the crime must be recognized both in mainland China and Hong Kong) and that the sentence must be over seven years.

"If the purpose of the request is to punish someone because of their religion, nationality, race or political opinion, this will not be allowed," he said.

"Ultimately, it is up to the courts to decide that power does not depend on our CEO, let alone Beijing."

But Human Rights Watch China director Sophie Richardson said assurances that the extradition bill will not be used in political cases are "completely meaningless".

"None of these small improvements address the deep problems, weaknesses and politicization of the Chinese legal system," he said.

"Chinese law is the one that the Chinese government and the communist party say it is right now and there are no controls on this."

He said that countries and territories without an extradition treaty can still give back to the suspects a trial in another jurisdiction and it was "illogical to suggest that there are no other solutions".

& # 39; Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China & # 39;

While the anniversary of the handover is looming, the latest protests have turned from a focus on extradition to understand a wider existential anxiety.

The United Kingdom delivered Hong Kong to China on 1 July 1997, with China promising to operate "one country, two systems" for 50 years, until 2047.

Fears of Beijing's creeping influence on the Hong Kong judicial system persist – in April, activists who took part in the 2014 Umbrella Movement were imprisoned. Booksellers of gossip novels on the Chinese elite who crossed borders in 2015.

Some protesters seemed nostalgic for British rule – a handful waved the Union Jack flag, while one held a cardboard sign that said: "The Queen has made us pearls of the East, the Communists have ruined it" .

"This is really obsolete, it's 22 years ago," said Ms Ip.

"The new reality is that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China, and the only model that works for us is" one country, two systems ".

"We should not weaken this model by provoking feelings against mainland China, which is our sovereign country."

Although the protests have been labeled "pro-democracy", political scientist Ivan Choy has questioned whether democracy really exists in Hong Kong.

"Democracy is not necessarily the central value of Hong Kong," he said.

"We have never elected our governor, but in the past we have always had the judicial independence to protect our human rights. This is our fundamental value".

The IP said the protests went well beyond the fugitive law.

"They have taken very unwelcome tones to invite foreign intervention," he said.

The Chinese Foreign Minister did not respond to a direct request for ABC, but spokesman Geng Shuang said the proposed legislative changes "are purely internal affairs of China" and this week he accused the United Kingdom of "interfering in way in Hong Kong affairs and to make remarks irresponsible ".

"China deplores and strongly opposes it," he said.

"We urge the UK to immediately stop interference in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs in any form."

Themes:

law-crime-and-justice,

of the community and society,

world-politics,

Hong Kong,

China,

Asia

. (tagToTranslate) hong kong (t) china (t) beijing (t) law (t) extradition (t) protest (t) carrie lam (t) regina ip (t) security (t) legitimate (t) propaganda (t) the crime

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