The extradition bill of Hong Kong and its opposition.

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong extradition bill, which would cover the 7.4 million Hong Kong residents, as well as foreign and Chinese citizens in the city, would allow suspects to be sent to trial in the courts controlled by the Hong Kong Communist Party.

Opponents of the bill, which was suspended indefinitely after violent protests, see it as a threat to the rule of law in the former British colony and put them at the mercy of China's justice system where human rights are not guaranteed.

Protesters are demanding that the bill be completely discarded.


The Hong Kong government presented the proposals in February and presented sweeping changes that would simplify the case-by-case extraditions of suspects to countries beyond the 20 with which Hong Kong has extradition treaties.

It explicitly allows extradition from Hong Kong to bigger China, including the mainland, Taiwan and Macao, for the first time, closing what Hong Kong government officials have repeatedly described as a gap they say has allowed the city to become a refuge for criminals.

The Hong Kong leader would initiate and eventually approve an extradition following a request from a foreign jurisdiction. A city judge must also approve or reject such a request, although the scope to consider the evidence or the quality of justice that a fugitive would face once it was turned over to the requesting jurisdiction would be limited.

Some legal experts say that the government's description of the judges as guardians for such extradition requests is misleading. The bill also eliminates the supervision of extradition agreements by the city's Legislative Council.

While the bill was suspended indefinitely, if it became law, the courts of mainland China could apply to Hong Kong courts to freeze and confiscate assets related to crimes committed on the continent, beyond an existing provision that covers the proceeds of drug-related crimes.

Opponents of the bill fear being sent to trial to a group of rights of the justice system that says it is plagued by torture, forced confessions and arbitrary detention.


Officials initially seized the murder last year of a woman from Hong Kong who was on vacation in Taiwan to justify the project. Police say her boyfriend confessed on his return to Hong Kong and is now in jail on minor charges of money laundering.

Taiwan authorities have strongly opposed the bill, which they say could leave Taiwan citizens exposed in Hong Kong and have vowed to refuse to withdraw the murder suspect if the bill is passed.

The need for an eventual extradition agreement with mainland China was recognized by government officials and experts before the transfer of Hong Kong from the British government to China in 1997 under a one-country, two-system model.

The city maintains a separate and independent legal system as part of the broader freedoms that the formula guarantees.

How strong is the opposition to this?

Millions have taken to the streets in recent weeks in the largest and most violent protests to shake the city in decades. The backlash poses the biggest popular challenge to the Chinese president Xi Jinping Since he took office in 2012.

Concern over the bill quickly spread to the pro-business and pro-Beijing elements, generally resisting publicly contradicting the governments of Hong Kong or China. Hong Kong judges expressed alarm privately, and Hong Kong-based trade lawyers in mainland China echoed their fears, saying that the mainland's system can not be trusted to meet basic standards. of judicial justice. Schools, lawyers and religious groups have joined human rights groups to protest against the bill.

It is a proposal, or a set of proposals, that deals a terrible blow ... against the rule of law, against the stability and security of Hong Kong, against the position of Hong Kong as a great center of international trade, the last governor British from Hong Kong, Chris Patten He said in June.


The Hong Kong leader suspended the bill and said she had listened to people loud and clear, but opponents wanted her to withdraw.

Lam apologized for the agitation, but refused to say that I would retire, only that he would not be presented again during his term, which should end in 2022, if public fears persist.

This is the strongest indicator that the government is effectively filing legislation.