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Safeguarding our cherished rule of law system
and rallying public opinions to resist amendments
to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance
Never have I felt so weighed down ever since I became a Legislative Councillor more than 6 years ago. Those of us who grow up in Hong Kong all cherish our system and core values and take pride in having a fair, open and equitable rule of law system and various freedoms.
However, the Government has, for the ostensible reason of enabling Hong Kong to extradite to Taiwan a Hong Kong person alleged to have committed murder in Taiwan, recently been forcing the Legislative Council to pass highly controversial amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance despite the lack of consultation and the flimsiness of argumentation in support of the proposed amendments. Once the amendments are passed, Hong Kong citizens and foreigners touring Hong Kong or doing business in Hong Kong are vulnerable to extradition to the mainland to stand trial. While the Government has repeatedly stressed ‘safeguard by the court’, the power of the court is actually confined to checking the completeness (or otherwise) of documents provided by the jurisdiction requesting extradition but not the veracity of evidence(s) against the person requested to be extradited.
From time to time, we have heard of trials conducted on the mainland being unfair. Things could be even worse. For example, the accused may not be able to freely engage a lawyer for self-defence and the trials may not be open to the public. There have also been court hearings of which family members of the accused are not notified or to which they are refused access. We have also heard of Hong Kong residents while running business, doing news reporting, or even simply selling books in Hong Kong being suddenly charged by the mainland authorities with crimes of a non-political nature.
Some may think that the legal system of the mainland has improved over the past 40 years. It is, however, still far below the level acceptable to Hong Kong citizens. Since the start of the controversy, the number of Hong Kong people opposed to the proposed amendments has been increasing, businessmen and news reporters included. Despite this, the HKSAR Government, with the support of The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government, has been obstinately pressing ahead with the proposed amendments, which is most disappointing and which constitutes a substantial threat to ‘One Country, Two Systems’.
Notwithstanding this, we will continue to do our utmost to fight for what is right. We also hope that all Hong Kong citizens will treasure the freedoms we have, come out courageously and convey our views to the entire world loud and clear.
For the sake of safeguarding ‘One Country, Two Systems’, safeguarding the personal safety of Hong Kong people, and safeguarding our rule of law and freedoms, I sincerely invite you to take part in the ‘Solidarity against the Evil Law’ protest march initiated by PTU and others and scheduled to start at 2:30 pm on Sunday 9 June. The assembly venue is East Point Road, Causeway Bay. I hope that all of us will enthusiastically participate in the protest march. Meanwhile, you are most welcome to let me have your views on the proposed amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. They can be emailed to [email protected] .
Representative of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union
in Legislative Council,
Hon IP Kin-yuen
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‧For enquiry and feedback, please email to Office of Legislative Councillor IP Kin-yuen： [email protected]
葉建源議員辦事處 Office of Legislative Councillor Ip Kin Yuen (Education Constituency)
Corresponding Address: Room 919, Legislative Council Complex, 1 Legislative Council Road, Central, Hong Kong