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Hong Kong File

Extradition to China?

Thursday 20 June 2019, by siawi3


Hong Kong’s leader suspends China extradition bill following mass protests

By Rachel Withers

June 15, 2019

Photo: Keith Tsuji, Getty Images.

The controversial bill allows criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China and has faced massive opposition.

Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam will “indefinitely suspend” a contentious extradition bill that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China following a series of massive and sometimes violent street protests.

The New York Times reports the pro-Beijing Lam has consulted with her superiors in mainland China, and will hold off on attempting to push the bill through again in an attempt to quell public anger and avoid further violence. The government announced its decision ahead of another large protest planned for Sunday.

Lam, who is reportedly known for “never backing down in a fight,” had previously vowed to press on with the bill, comparing protesters to “stubborn children,” even after as many as 1 million people took to the streets last Sunday. A follow-up protest delayed a debate on the bill Wednesday.

Although the bill’s progress through the city’s legislative council has been delayed, Lam said the measure has not been abandoned.

“I believe that we cannot withdraw this bill, or else society will say that this bill was groundless,” the chief executive said.

Leading opposition figures say nothing less than the full withdrawal of the bill is acceptable, and protest leaders have said Sunday’s demonstration will proceed as planned.

Some activists made it clear they do not trust Lam; a spokesperson for the Civil Human Rights Front, one of the groups in charge of organizing the recent protests, said, “Hong Kong people do understand what is happening and we can see through the lies of Carrie Lam.” Another group, Demosistō, called on the protests to continue because “the Hong Kong government may restart the legislative process anytime in the future.”

This position was echoed by some lawmakers, including pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo, who responded to Lam’s decision by telling the Times, “This is not good enough, simply not right. We demand a complete scrapping of this controversial bill.”
The suspended proposal

The controversial extradition bill empowers Hong Kong officials to extradite wanted criminal suspects to stand trial in mainland China, and requires Hong Kong to extradite suspects to jurisdictions it lacks extraditions agreements with. China and Hong Kong don’t currently share an extradition agreement — when Hong Kong finalized its extradition accords in 1997 after being released from British rule, it didn’t include China due to its “fundamentally different criminal justice system” and “concerns over the mainland’s track record on the protection of fundamental rights.”

While Hong Kong is technically under the control of the People’s Republic of China, under the terms of the 1997 handover of power from the UK to China, the city is supposed to be allowed to govern itself until 2047 under a policy known as “one country, two systems.” Essentially, this means that while Hong Kong is under Chinese sovereignty, it is supposed to be free to retain its own political and legal systems. However, Beijing has been pressuring Hong Kong’s leaders to pass laws that bring it more closely in line with the Chinese government, including this recent extradition law, which is sponsored by the pro-Beijing government.

Many fear that the new powers would allow China to target any person in Hong Kong that it wants. But as Vox’s Alex Ward writes, the protests are about much more than just this particular bill. Rather, they are about the future of democracy, with protesters viewing the proposed amendments as part of China’s creeping attempts to assert its authority over the semi-autonomous Hong Kong:

Experts say the newest flare-up is part of the long-term resistance movement to keep the city as independent as possible.

“The proposed change to the extradition law, which would open up Hong Kongers and others passing through the city to the vicissitudes of mainland Chinese justice, is the latest in a long list of actions that undermine democratic freedoms and the rule of law,” says [Hong Kong expert at the Lowy Institute in Australia Ben] Bland, who also wrote a book about life in post-handover Hong Kong.

The protests, which were mostly peaceful when they began last Sunday, saw even self-described “regular citizens” take to the streets, with one protestor telling the New York Times, “We are not activists. Even as regular citizens, we can’t stand to see China eroding away our freedom.”

The protests have escalated in recent days. Riot police clashed with protesters on Wednesday, firing tear gas, rubber bullets, and beanbags at the crowd as demonstrators tried to rush Hong Kong’s main legislative buildings. The protesters ultimately delayed a scheduled debate on the bill, although, at the time, few expected that they would be able to delay it indefinitely.

Demonstrations continued immediately following Lam’s announcement. One protester fell to his death Saturday evening. The man had attached a banner reading “No extradition to China, total withdrawal of the extradition bill, we are not rioters, release the students and injured, Carrie Lam step down, help Hong Kong” to the side of a luxury mall. He died after missing an inflatable cushion first responders erected for him to jump onto.

Lawmaker Ray Chan blamed Lam for the protester’s death on Twitter, writing, “As butcher Carrie Lam’s regime remains in power, sad events including the loss of life are bound to happen.” He went on to call on the public to demonstrate Sunday in the fallen activist’s memory, writing, “We’ll honor the nameless hero and show the world the heartless bitch has no credibility. Kill the bill & get Carrie Lam fired!”

Lam has not yet made it clear when she plans to take the issue of the bill back up; she has, however, promised to listen to those who are against the measure.

“We will adopt the most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements,” Lam said.



Extraordinary rendition
Hundreds of thousands took to the streets – China seems deaf to mass protests in Hong Kong over extradition

Monday 10 June 2019,

by The Economist

A planned law to send alleged criminals to China sparks one of the largest demonstrations since 1997.

IT IS COMMONLY said in Hong Kong that many of its 7m people have been suffering from “protest fatigue” since the failure of weeks of demonstrations and sit-ins in 2014 to persuade the government to grant the Chinese territory greater democracy. In the past week there has been clear evidence that this diagnosis is wrong. First, on June 4th, came the biggest turnout in years for the territory’s annual candle-lit vigil commemorating the crushing of the Tiananmen Square unrest thirty years ago. About 180,000 people took part, organisers said. Then, on June 9th, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in protest against a proposed law that would allow criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party. It may have been the biggest demonstration since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997.

Opposition to the extradition bill has been widespread, even drawing in businesspeople who normally support the government. Several senior judges have expressed concern about it. On June 6th hundreds of lawyers staged a rare protest against the legislation. Among those who took part in the massive protest three days later were political parties, student groups and church congregations. Many demonstrators wore white, a symbol of mourning. Some wore yellow, the colour adopted by the protesters in 2014. For hours they filled the streets of central Hong Kong, shouting slogans against the “evil law” and calling on the territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, to step down.

The demonstration was largely peaceful. But at 11pm the government issued a statement saying it would press ahead with its plans for getting the bill adopted by the Legislative Council, known as Legco (it is hoping that it will be passed before legislators begin their summer vacation in July). Seemingly in response, some of the hundreds of protesters who had gathered outside the government’s headquarters tried to force their way in. Police armed with pepper spray and batons moved in to disperse them. Several people were injured, including three police officers.

The governments in Hong Kong and Beijing say the bill will close a “loophole” which makes it impossible to send suspects to “other parts of China”. But many people fear the legislation could be abused. Even though the proposed law would not apply to people accused of political crimes, critics of the bill say China’s judiciary could secure the extradition of such people by charging them with other offences. They also say that China’s courts are so prone to political interference, and so opaque, that no suspect can be guaranteed a fair trial. The bill would apply to anyone physically in Hong Kong, including a banker on a business trip or a journalist in transit through the airport. That worries many people beyond Hong Kong itself.

The government says that it has been taking account of such criticisms. It has modified the bill to reduce the number of economic crimes to which it would apply, and to make it cover only more severe offences. It has clarified that it would not consider extradition requests from China’s provincial courts. They would need to be made by the country’s supreme court. Officials in Hong Kong say the bill would comply with Hong Kong’s human-rights standards. Some Hong Kongers are persuaded by this. A group supporting the bill says it has gathered more than 800,000 signatures.

After the demonstration, Mrs Lam denied that she was introducing the legislation at the request of the central government. Officials in Hong Kong say there is a practical reason for getting it passed now. Under the current law, a Hong Kong man who stands accused of murdering his girlfriend in Taiwan cannot be sent back there for trial. But Taiwan says it will not ask for the suspect’s extradition under the new law. That is because the bill refers to Taiwan as part of China’s territory, which the island does not accept.

The scale of the protest will put Mrs Lam under considerable political pressure. In 2003 about half a million people took to the streets to protests against an anti-subversion bill which they feared would be used to crush dissent. The protest resulted in the shelving of the legislation and the eventual resignation of the then chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa. In 2014 student-led protests led to the watering down of a plan to introduce a curriculum that would whitewash the Communist Party’s record.

But not all pressure yields results. The weeks-long protests and sit-ins later that year, known as the “Umbrella Movement”, resulted in no concessions. After the demonstration on June 9th Mrs Lam repeated her support for the bill. She is also likely to take her cue from officials in Beijing, who have expressed strong support for the legislation. In response to the demonstration, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said the central government would continue to “firmly support” the administration in Hong Kong, and warned against “outside interference”. China Daily, a state-owned newspaper, accused “foreign forces” of aiming to “hurt China by trying to create havoc in Hong Kong.” Such statements do not suggest that the mood in Beijing is conciliatory.



Police use rubber bullets as Hong Kong protesters vow ‘no retreat’

Wed 12 Jun 2019 16.51 BST First published on Tue 11 Jun 2019 18.33 BST:

by Oliver HOLMES, Lily KUO, Verna YU

Major roads blocked and city centre shuts down after tens of thousands turn out to protest.

Riot police have used rubber bullets, batons and teargas against people in Hong Kong protesting against a controversial extradition bill that would tighten Beijing’s grip on the semi-autonomous territory.
Unable to drive away the crowds paralysing the central business district on Wednesday, authorities were forced to delay a debate over the bill that would allow criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent for trial in mainland China.
Protesters worry Beijing will exploit the law to extradite political opponents and activists to the mainland, where they would be subject to a Chinese justice system criticised by human rights activists.

The violence marked an escalation in the biggest political crisis to hit the city in years. After the police crackdown, a group of protesters made a failed attempt to storm government offices. In several cases, crowds charged at armed officers, throwing bottles and other debris.

Hospital authorities told broadcaster RTHK that 72 people had been taken to hospital and two were in a serious condition. Pictures and videos on social media appeared to show people wounded by rubber bullets or bean-bag rounds, which police fired from shotguns.

Demonstrators shut down the main thoroughfare and streets near the legislature, refusing to leave until the authorities retracted the bill.

The police chief, Stephen Lo, described the protest as a “riot situation” and claimed officers needed to protect themselves or “protesters would have used metal bars to stab our colleagues”.

The mass gatherings began on Sunday with a march that drew hundreds of thousands of people, and have remained largely non-violent. Asked if the police would ask the Chinese army to help, Lo said: “Definitely not, at this stage.”

Beijing reiterated its support for the extradition law at a press briefing and called rumours that the government would call in the military to clear protests “misinformation”.

On the streets of Hong Kong, police held up black banners warning they were prepared to use force. Water cannon was also used against the crowd earlier in the day.

“The government just wants to scare the young people [by shooting teargas],” a protester, Wong Shan, 80, said. “Some police were even holding rifles. Unlike the 1967 riot, nobody is wrecking shops. They are just voicing their opinions,” he added, referring to riots against British rule in the former colony.

“Hong Kong has become a dangerous place,” said Freeman Yim, 36, a construction worker. “You can just imagine what Hong Kong will become once the law comes in. Everyone has come out, whatever sector they belong to.”

The Hong Kong legislature’s chair, Andrew Leung, planned to limit debate on the extradition bill to 61 hours, meaning it could be put to a vote on 20 June. The chamber is dominated by pro-Beijing politicians, making it almost certain the bill will pass.

Protesters fear that civil rights and freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong under the “one country, two systems” arrangement, made after Britain returned the colony to China in 1997, will be quickly eroded under the new law. China often uses non-political crimes to prosecute its critics.

The UK prime minister, Theresa May, said it was vital that any new extradition treaty did not violate rights agreed after the British withdrawal, which allowed the territory to maintain a semi-independent local government.

“We are concerned about the potential effects of these proposals, particularly obviously given the large number of British citizens there are in Hong Kong,” she said.

One protester, a 55-year-old lab technician who gave his name only as Chan, said: “We don’t trust China. Rules and laws can be arbitrarily applied and we can see this in Hong Kong already.” He cited the recent disqualifications of pro-democracy politicians and jailing of the leaders of the 2014 Occupy Central movement.

Observers have started to call this week’s demonstrations Occupy 2.0, a reference to 79 days of demonstrations that paralysed the city in 2014, also known as the “umbrella movement”.

Holding up a sign that read: “Scrap China extradition bill”, the pro-democracy politician Claudia Mo said to a cheering crowd: “At the end of the umbrella movement didn’t we say we would be back? Now we are back!”

The latest demonstrations began on Tuesday night after an online petition called for 50,000 people to gather from 10pm on Tuesday. Many camped overnight.

Hundreds of businesses closed on Wednesday, and thousands of parents and teachers called for a boycott of work and classes to show their opposition to the proposed bill.

Student unions of seven universities and colleges also said they would boycott classes. Several churches said they would hold meetings to pray for the city’s leadership and peace for Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong aviation industry gathered 1,700 employees’ signatures to demand its union initiate a strike while the union of the New World First Bus company condemned the government for ignoring citizens’ voices and urged drivers to drive slowly on Wednesday.

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), which has 190,000 members, also urged its members to stay off work for the day.

Despite the outpouring of opposition Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said she remained determined to pass the law.

In a tearful Wednesday morning interview, Lam denied she was “selling out Hong Kong” to Beijing, as protesters have claimed. “I have grown up here with all the Hong Kong people,” she told the broadcaster TVB. “My love for this place has led me to make many personal sacrifices.”

Official Chinese media did not report on the protests on Wednesday and mentions of the protests were scrubbed from Chinese social media platforms. The search term “Let’s go, Hong Kong” or Xianggang jiayou was blocked on the microblogging site Weibo.

Supporters of the bill say it will apply only to those involved in serious crimes, while Beijing has claimed that opposition leaders and “foreign forces” have misled the public.

Early on Thursday morning a few protesters were still hanging on. Some were starting to clean up plastic water bottles, face masks, zip ties and other remnants of the protests left behind after police cleared most occupied areas. Others were sitting by an office building, smoking and keeping out of the rain.
Dozens of police vans were parked around central Hong Kong with officers sleeping inside, eating or looking at their phones.

Arthur Lau, 24, a first-aid volunteer, still stood at alert, staring down a group of police separated from the protesters by a makeshift barricade. He said he had been there for three or four hours since the group retreated from areas around the government complex.

“If they pass this law, we won’t be able to protest any more. This is our last freedom,” he said. Lau said other demonstrators had promised to come back tomorrow.

“I don’t want to retreat. If we retreat we won’t come back. I’ll stay until the others come.”

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report



Hong Kong: Almost 2 million attended anti-extradition law demo, say organisers, as protesters bed in around gov’t HQ

Monday 16 June 2019,

by Jennifer CREERY , Tom GRUNDY

Close to two million people hit the streets on Sunday to call on the Hong Kong government to withdraw a controversial extradition bill, according to organisers.

Many pictures and videos are not reproduced here.

The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) figure represents 28.5 per cent of the city’s population, and would make the demonstration the largest in Hong Kong history.

It is almost double the turnout figure they gave for last Sunday’s anti-extradition law protest.

The “Lennon Wall” has returned. During the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, people also posted colourful post-it messages of support on the gov’t HQ’s outer walls.

In full: #NoToChinaExtradition

Police claimed 338,000 joined the designated walking route at the peak of the demonstration.

The CHRF – a coalition of pro-democracy groups – said the turnout was almost two million “plus one,” to represent a man who fell to his death on Saturday while protesting the bill. Protesters on Sunday wore all black and carried white funeral flowers to honour the 35-year-old man surnamed Leung.

Supplies are arriving on site. Water, snacks, goggles, face masks and hard hats are being distributed from supply points as demonstrators seek to bed in.

In full: #notochinaextradition

Hong Kong proposed legal amendments in February to allow the city to handle case-by-case extradition requests from jurisdictions with no prior agreements, most notably China and Taiwan.

The bill would enable the chief executive and local courts to handle extradition requests without legislative oversight, although lawyers, journalists, foreign politicians and businesses have raised concerns over the risk of residents being extradited to the mainland, which lacks human rights protections.

On Saturday, following months of criticism, the government said it would postpone the bill and explain it further to the public.

As night fell on Sunday, demonstrators arriving in Admiralty occupied roads around government headquarters and the legislature, in a repeat of the tactics seen during the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement.

As the crowds swelled, the government said in a statement that that Chief Executive Carrie Lam apologised to the public, adding that she promises to accept criticism with humility and sincerity.

CHRF said in a statement that Lam’s response was inadequate: “Truth is, citizens [have taken] to the street again, insisting [on] the withdrawal of the extradition bill and the resignation of Carrie Lam.”

“Facing such public rage, Carrie Lam simply makes apology through a press release, for ‘the inadequate work of the government’ but not for pushing to pass the bill or police’s crackdown on protesters. She even stressed that she would continue to serve the citizens. This is a total insult to and fooling the people who took to the street! Hong Konger will not accept this!” CHRF added.

Protesters erected supply stations and first aid tents around the occupied zone at Tamar, as many prepared to remain overnight on Sunday.

The city has been rocked by a series of protests in recent weeks against the bill. The brief occupation of roads around the legislature on Wednesday ended in violence as police deployed tear gas and rubber bullets against crowds advancing forwards throwing objects.

Video from the Guardian here



Global Signing: Hong Kong – Against Extradition to China. A petition

by Civil Human Rights Front,


Civil Human Right Front Hong Kong a lancé cette pétition adressée à 民間人權陣線 Civil Human Rights Front

全球聯署【反送中 民意不可欺 為香港企硬

[More than 600.000 signatures as of June 12, 2019]

Global Signing: Against Extradition to China … Against Suppression of Citizens’ Will Stand Up for Hong Kong


The voices of Hong Kong citizens against the changes to the “Anti-Extradition Law” are loud and clear, and the will of the people cannot be suppressed. SAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor should not only withdraw the amendment but also step down and admit to the offence. If the pro-government parties and government want to force through the “Extradition Law”, not only will it affect Hong Kong’s justice system, but also ruin Hong Kong’s reputation as an international city.


The current Extradition Law was established by the Legislature Council more than 20 years ago, and specifically excludes China. This is not a loophole as pointed out by the Government, but rather a protection against the lack of human rights and the incompetence of the justice system and criminal law in China. The current proposal means the Chief Executive can bypass the Legislative Council, giving the Chief Executive the sole right to decide on extradition and the details of the extradition. This disables the function of the Legislative Council to monitor extradition cases.


Moreover, the draft on the Extradition Law does not provide enough legal protection to the suspect as the Court can approve the extradition based on surface evidence alone. The legal threshold level is very low, and the Court’s role of reviewing and disapproving of the extradition is very limited. If the amendment is passed, not only will a lot of legal issues remain unresolved, but possibly raise even more problems. Hong Kong, a city that lives by the rule of law, is now facing an unforeseen justice crisis.


The “Chinese style of prosecution”, puts fear in the heart of Hong Kong people. Chinese Courts may only announce trial details the evening before, or even 30 minutes before a trail via Weibo. The official website of the Court never releases any records. Offenders are denied the basic access to defense lawyers, an independent jury and public attendees to the trail.

The result of Chinese human rights activists Mr. Liu Xiaobo and Mr. Wang Quanzhang are examples of the outcome of “Chinese style prosecution”. How can one trust the legal system of a country without justice and democracy?


Opposing the “Extradition Law” amendment is imminent. Civil Human Rights Front is calling all citizens to stand up for human rights and be mindful of the evil tricks played by the government and the pro-government parties. At this stage, not only do we need Hong Kong citizens to stand up, but also people globally to cosign. We all stand up to the suppression of the Chinese Communist Party.


The will of the citizens cannot be repressed. Stand up for Hong Kong!



May 25th, 2019
Initiator: Civil Human Rights Front

View online : To sign:民間人權陣線-civil-human-rights-front-全球聯署-反送中-民意不可欺-為香港企硬-global-signing-against-extradition-to-china?signed=true



Joint statement : Stop police brutality in Hong Kong! No extradition to China!

by Collective, Movements

Joint statement

14 June 2019

Stop police brutality in Hong Kong! No extradition to China!

We, the undersigned organisations, are deeply concerned about the high-handed approach by the Hong Kong government in dealing with the recent mass protests against the proposed extradition bill.

We condemn the use of unprecedented excessive force by the Hong Kong police in dispersing and arresting protesters. The use of tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and bean bag rounds, as well as beating up unarmed protesters have caused injuries to many. Such brutality is unacceptable.

Despite the massive peaceful demonstration on 9 June, the largest since the handover of Hong Kong to China, the Hong Kong government led by Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor continues to ignore the demands of the people. In fact, the refusal of the Hong Kong government to listen to the people’s demands and its insistence in pushing the extradition bill has ignited and expanded the protests.

In recent years, the shrinking of political space and the Hong Kong government’s increasingly aggressive behaviour in curtailing civil and political freedom has become a worrying trend in Hong Kong. Many political dissidents and activists have been targeted for arrests and selected prosecution with various allegations. The erosion of democratic freedom in Hong Kong also instils the fear that Hong Kong is losing its unique autonomy with the expansion of Beijing’s political control over the city. Deterioration of political freedom will definitely hinder efforts to tackle social inequalities in a city with a widening wealth gap.

Hong Kong is the only city in China which can still freely commemorate the June Fourth massacre. To protect Hong Kong autonomy is thus not only the concern of the people of Hong Kong but also of all the people of China.

We urge the government of Hong Kong to:
- withdraw the proposed extradition bill;
- stop the violence against peaceful protesters;
- stop the repression and persecution of political activists.

We stand with the people of Hong Kong and express our solidarity with their fight to defend their political freedom and autonomy.

Signed by,

1. Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM)

2. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor, Malaysia

3. North South Initiative, Malaysia

4. Agora Society, Malaysia

5. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT), Malaysia

6. Liberasi, Malaysia

7. Socialist Alliance, Australia

8. Australia Asia Workers Link

9. Fightback Aotearoa/Australia

10. Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU), Cambodia

11. Europe solidaire sans frontières (ESSF), France

12. Forum Arbeitswelten – Forum Worlds of Labour, Germany

13. Centre for Workers Education, India

14. Worker’s Initiative, Kolkata, India

15. Radical Socialist, India

16. Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, India

17. Working People Party (Partai Rakyat Pekerja), Indonesia

18. People’s Liberation Party (PPR), Indonesia

19. Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Sedane (LIPS), Indonesia

20. Confederation of National Union (Konfederasi Serikat Nasional), Indonesia

21. Konfederasi Pergerakan Rakyat Indonesia (KPRI), Indonesia

22. Konfederasi Persatuan Buruh Indonesia (KPBI), Indonesia

23. National Network for Domestic Workers Advocacy (Jala PRT), Indonesia

24. RUMPUN, Indonesia

25. Korea House for International Solidarity, Korea

26. Labour Education Foundation, Pakistan

27. Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), Philippines

28. Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), Philippines

29. Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN), Philippines

30. Kalipunan ng mga Kilusang Masa (KALIPUNAN) / Social Movements’ Coalition, Philippines

31. Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)

32. Action for Democracy in Thailand (ACT4DEM)

33. Just Economy and Labor Institute, Thailand

34. New Isan Movement, Thailand

35. Socialist Resistance, UK

36. RS21, UK

37. TheOwl, Hong Kong

38. Borderless Movement, Hong Kong

39. League of Social Democrats, Hong Kong

This joint statement is initiated by Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and still open for endorsement. The list will be updated from time to time