Ireland signed an extradition agreement with Hong Kong in October 2007.
At the signing ceremony, Brian Lenihan, the then justice minister, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to negotiate what is a strong and effective agreement, which takes account of the fundamental legal and constitutional principles of both jurisdictions aimed at protecting the individual.”
The legal and constitutional situation in Hong Kong has been altered by the introduction of draconian security laws by China.
These target the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and its international supporters. These laws have ended Hong Kong’s autonomy, undermined its legal independence, and suppressed human rights and political freedoms.
Furthermore, experts in Chinese and international law have stated that article 38 of these laws is extra- territorial and would apply to anyone living outside Hong Kong, including Irish citizens advocating democracy in Hong Kong, or criticising the Hong Kong or Chinese governments.
Irish critics of China and of its puppets in Hong Kong would face serious consequences if they ever visited Hong Kong, or they could be the subject of an extradition request under the Ireland-Hong Kong agreement.
Canada and Australia have suspended their extradition arrangements with Hong Kong. The UK and Finland are considering doing the same.
Irish legislators should send a message to Beijing by suspending the agreement.
Former Fine Gael MEP and European Parliament rapporteur for Hong Kong, 1997-2004