A Fourth Estate® Service

Friday, January 8, 2021

Ireland and Netherlands Suspend Extradition Treaty with Hong Kong

Ireland and Netherlands joined the group of nations in suspending their extradition treaties with Hong Kong amid tensions over the controversial national security legislation that Beijing imposed on the city in June.

Ireland and Netherlands joined the group of nations in suspending their extradition treaties with Hong Kong amid tensions over the controversial national security legislation that Beijing imposed on the city in June.

China introduced the law to the former British colony as an attempt to quell “secession”, “subversion”, “terrorism” and “collusion with foreign forces”, including any acts that would be deemed as expression of resentment against Beijing.

However, Hong Kong residents, Western countries and international human rights activists expressed negative sentiments regarding the sweeping legislation, worrying that this could be used against pro-democracy protests in the city.

The suspension of Ireland and Netherlands’ extradition treaties on Friday mimics the move of the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and Finland.

The United Nations and several expert bodies are worried that the law might be weaponized and used in politically motivated prosecutions by levying potentially heavy penalties on those deemed responsible for “severe” offences.

The government of the two countries decided to suspend their extradition agreement with Hong Kong after conducting a review on the possible implications of the controversial legislation for the two countries’ extradition arrangements.

Johnny Patterson, Hong Kong Watch’s co-founder and policy director, welcomed the decision of the two nations.

“We welcome the decision by the Irish and the Netherlands governments to suspend their respective extradition treaties with Hong Kong and hope the remaining European countries who have similar arrangements with the Hong Kong authorities will soon follow suit, making it clear that no Hong Konger will be extradited under the National Security Law,” said Patterson. 

Editors Note: In the story “HK-EXTRADITION-TREATIES-SUSPENSION” sent at: 23.10.2020 12:45.

This is a corrected repeat.

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