Letter to the Editor: Former MEP says suspend Hong Kong extradition agreement

Letter to the Editor: Former MEP says suspend Hong Kong extradition agreement
Pro-democracy Leung Kwok-hung, center, and others protesters shout slogans " Stop One Party Rolling" before they march toward the flag raising ceremony marking the anniversary of the Hong Kong handover to China in Hong Kong

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.

John Cushnahan 

Former Fine Gael MEP and European Parliament rapporteur for Hong Kong, 1997-2004

Glenariff

Lisnagry

Co Limerick

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