Hong Kong and extradition

 

Sir, – In response to letters by former Fine Gael MEP John Cushnahan (July 2nd) and Hong Kong Special Representative Eddie Cheung (July 10th) to The Irish Times regarding the recent enactment of the controversial security law in Hong Kong, I wish to note that the new law effectively overrides judicial independence and its valued autonomy.

The law applies to the extraterritorial jurisdiction of every nation in the world, intended to target anyone deemed to be in violation of the ambiguously defined “national security” interests, as well as severing Hong Kong’s links with the international community and strengthening the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian rule.

Should democratic nations such as Ireland continue to take an apathetic stance toward this grave injustice, China will continue to leverage its political and economic might in seeking to disseminate its authoritarian regime abroad.

As a bastion of democracy in Asia, Taiwan urges the international community to resolutely repudiate the establishment of the security law in Hong Kong, standing firmly with its citizens who will no doubt continue to push for their right to self-determination and the universal values of democracy, human rights, and freedom. – Yours, etc,

PIERRE TP YANG,

Representative,

Taipei Representative

Office in Ireland,

Dublin 2,

Sir, – Ireland signed an extradition agreement with Hong Kong in October 2007.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the then-minister for justice Brian Lenihan 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 now been fundamentally altered by the introduction of draconian security laws by China which deliberately target the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and its international supporters.

These laws have effectively 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 who were advocating democracy in Hong Kong or criticising the Hong Kong or Chinese governments.

Irish critics of China and 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 current Ireland-Hong Kong extradition agreement.

Canada and Australia have suspended their extradition arrangements.

The UK and Finland are considering doing so, as are other countries.

Irish legislators should send a clear message to Beijing by suspending the current extradition agreement. – Yours, etc,

JOHN CUSHNAHAN

(Former Fine Gael MEP

and European Parliament

Rapporteur for Hong Kong

1997-2004),

Lisnagry,

Co Limerick.