Proposed Hong Kong Extradition Law Changes Spark Concerns

A file photo of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. Photo: Studio Incendo / Flickr
A file photo of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. Photo: Studio Incendo / Flickr

HONG KONG — Business and human rights groups are expressing concern over proposed changes to Hong Kong’s extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China where they say they could be subject to torture and unfair prosecution.

Hong Kong currently limits such extraditions to jurisdictions with which it has existing extradition agreements or to others on an individual basis under a law passed before the semi-autonomous territory’s handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

China was excluded because of concerns over its poor record on legal independence and human rights.

However, changes to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance would expand the scope for the transfer of criminal suspects to China and remove the legislature’s right to scrutinize individual extradition decisions.