The Hong Kong government has suspended the debate on an indefinite extradition law to mainland China indefinitely, following chaotic protests by tens of thousands of people indefinitely.
Hong Kong residents, as well as foreign and Chinese nationals living or traveling through the global financial hub, would all be at risk if they were sought on the mainland.
Pro-establishment political forces are dominant in the Legislative Council and the bill is expected to be adopted by the end of the month.
WHAT IS THE EXTRADITION PAYMENT?
Protesters marched last Sunday in a downtown street against the proposed changes to an extradition law in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong government launched the proposals for the first time in February and made radical changes that simplify extraditions of criminal suspects on a case-by-case basis to countries beyond the 20 with which Hong Kong has existing extradition treaties.
It explicitly allows renditions from Hong Kong to Greater China – including the mainland, Taiwan and Macau – for the first time and concludes what Hong Kong government officials have repeatedly described as a & # 39; loophole & # 39; which they claim the city has become a refuge for mainland criminals.
The Hong Kong leader would start an extradition and eventually approve it after a request from a foreign jurisdiction, but only after court hearings, including any appeals. However, the bill removes the supervision of extradition regulations by the Legislative Council.
WHY DOES THE HONG KONG GOVERNMENT PRESS IT NOW?
Officials initially seized the murder of a young woman from Hong Kong who was on holiday in Taiwan to justify rapid changes. Police say her boyfriend confessed on his return to Hong Kong and that he is now in jail for less money laundering costs.
Taiwanese authorities strongly opposed the bill, which they believe could expose Taiwanese citizens in Hong Kong, and vowed to refuse the refusal to take the suspect back from the murder if the bill was adopted.
A long-forgotten issue, the need for a final extradition agreement with the mainland was recognized by government officials and experts prior to the transfer of Hong Kong from the British to Chinese domination in 1997 under the model & # 39; one country, 2 systems & # 39 ;
The city maintains a separate and independent legal system as part of the wider freedoms that the formula guarantees. Since then, little progress has been made in discreet discussions with justice and security officials on the mainland, where the Communist Party still controls the courts.
HOW STRONG IS THE OPPOSITION OF THE ACCOUNT?
Protest plates and flowers are shown during a demonstration in Hong Kong on 11 June to ask authorities to scrap a proposed extradition law with China
Concern about the changes has grown in recent weeks, with pro-business and pro-Beijing elements generally unwilling to publicly contradict the governments of Hong Kong or China.
Senior Hong Kong judges have raised a private alarm, and mainland commercial lawyers based in Hong Kong have reflected their fears, saying that the mainland system cannot be trusted to meet even the basic standards of judicial fairness. Hong Kong law groups have submitted detailed comments to the government in the hope of forcing an extension.
Authorities have repeatedly stressed that judges such as & # 39; gatekeepers & # 39; whether guardians will serve for extradition requests. However, some judges say privately that China's increasingly close relationship with Hong Kong and the limited scope of extradition hearings will expose them to criticism and political pressure from Beijing.
Schools, lawyers and church groups have joined human rights organizations to protest against the measures. After a fight in the legislature over the bill, the government moved to speed up the bill by abolishing established legislative procedures that provoked criticism from critics.
Police officers keep watch outside the Legislative Council building while people protest against extradition law with China in Hong Kong on the night of June 11
Foreign political and diplomatic pressure on human rights issues is also increasing. In addition to recent statements by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his British and German colleagues, about 11 EU envoys met Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to formally protest.
& # 39; It is a proposal, or a series of proposals, that strike a terrible blow … against the rule of law, against the stability and security of Hong Kong, against the position of Hong Kong as a major international trade hub, & # 39 ; the last British governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, said Thursday.
Some opposition politicians say that the issue is now a turning point for the free status of the city.
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