One person one letter campaign to Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Secretary for Security John Lee
To HKSAR Chief Executive Madame Carrie Lam, and Secretary for Security Mr. John Lee Ka-chiu
Dear Madame Chief Executive and Mr. Secretary for Security,
On the ground that the suspect of the Taiwan murder case cannot be legally extradited to Taiwan, your government has proposed the Extradition Law (Amendment), which will enable the Chief Executive to extradite Hongkongers to all countries or regions, which have not signed any long-term mutual legal assistance agreement with Hong Kong, including the Chinese Mainland, Taiwan and Macao, without having to gain the Legislative Council’s ad-hoc approval.
I am worried that if the amendment is passed, the personal safety of Hongkongers and people in Hong Kong may not be well protected. Many regions in the world are in lack of fair trial. Any international mutual assistance agreement is based on mutual trust between the signatory States for each others’ judicial system. The reason why Hong Kong has not signed an extradition agreement with quite a few countries and regions is for the sake of guaranteeing legal justice rather than creating loopholes.
The amendment now proposed by your government is equivalent to abolishing the Legco’s existing extradition mechanism, which processes on ad-hoc basis extradition in relation to countries or regions that have not yet signed a long-term mutual legal assistance agreement with Hong Kong. This mechanism has been working well so far, but the amendment will in effect cancel it, and withdraw the power of extradition handling from the Legco to the person of the Chief Executive.
If the amendment is passed, the Hong Kong court can only examine the prima facie evidence produced by the country applying for extradition, in order to decide whether to transfer a certain person, instead of making the decision based on the actual facts of the case. This apparently violates the basic human rights of Hongkongers, rendering the so-called “judicial safeguarding” a mere facade.
The Fugitive Offenders Ordinance (Amendment) is not only unreasonable but in negligence of Hongkongers’ basic rights. Moreover, the fact that more than 130 hundred thousand Hongkongers took to the streets on April 28 already clearly reflects that the Hong Kong society has not yet reached a consensus concerning the amendment. The Taiwan authorities have also officially stated that whether the amendment is passed or not, they will not submit the application for extradition. So the amendment no longer has any urgency. We think that the Hong Kong Government should try to solve the issue through consultation and communication with the lawmakers, instead of cutting the Gordian knot and trying to pass the bill by forcefully getting around the Bill Committee.
I hereby plead with you to listen to the voice of Hongkongers, and oppose to the extradition law amendment; and to negotiate with the Taiwan authorities on the legal procedures of handling the murder case, based on the principles of pragmatism and mutual respect. In the long run, any amendment to the ordinance has to be done on the premise of compliance with international laws and regulations, and of protection of Hongkongers’ basic human rights, and should not be enacted before our society has reached a consensus about it.