04 Jun 2019
Hong Kong will make concessions to a controversial extradition bill, Security Secretary John Lee said on Thursday, but opposition lawmakers called for the legislation, which they fear will extend Beijing’s reach into the city, to be scrapped.
Various groups in Hong Kong, including democracy activists, have objected to the proposals, which would allow case-by-case extraditions from the city to countries without formal extradition agreements, including mainland China.
They fear it could undermine the city’s rule of law and independent judicial system, guaranteed when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under the “one country, two systems” formula.
Britain and Canada said on Thursday it was vital that extradition arrangements in Hong Kong were in line with “one country, two systems”.
Noting feedback from business and other groups, Lee said the government had decided that only suspects facing more serious crimes, or those normally dealt with by Hong Kong’s High Court, with a minimum punishment of at least seven years, rather than the three years, could now be extradited.
By Hong Kong Bureau, Reuters, 30 May 2019
Read more at Reuters
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