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Hong Kong’s Extradition Treaties Suspended

  • 29 Jul 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, China has announced the suspension of Hong Kong’s extradition treaties and criminal justice cooperation agreements with Australia, Britain and Canada.

  • Australia, Britain and Canada along with New Zealand and the USA are part of the Five Eyes (FVEY), which is an intelligence-sharing alliance between these five countries.
    • New Zealand has already suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and the USA is preparing to do the same.

Extradition

  • It is the formal process of one state surrendering an individual to another state for prosecution or punishment for crimes committed in the requesting country's jurisdiction.
  • It is generally enabled through a bilateral or multilateral treaty.
  • The Extradition Act of 1962 provides India’s legislative basis for extradition.

Key Points

  • Background:
    • This move comes after these three countries first suspended the treaties after China imposed new security law on Hong Kong.
    • These western nations see the law imposed on Hong Kong as an erosion of the civil liberties and human rights it had enjoyed since its handover from Britain in 1997.
  • Other Similar Moves Against China:
    • London (UK) and Canberra (Australia) offered pathways to citizenship or residency to Hong Kong citizens looking to leave because of the new law, which also angered China.
    • The European Union (EU) announced to restrict exports of equipment that could be used for surveillance and repression to Hong Kong.
      • However, this decision of restricting exports was not unanimous owing to the volume of trade between China and member states of the EU.
      • France and Germany proposed the restriction on so-called ‘dual-use’ technology.
        • Dual-use goods are products and technologies normally used for civilian purposes but which may have military applications. For example, radio navigation systems and nuclear power technologies.
      • The EU will also bring in measures to support Hong Kong’s population by making it easier for them to travel to Europe through the granting of visas, scholarships and academic exchanges.
  • China’s Stand:
    • China has accused these countries of interfering in its internal affairs and defended the security law as crucial to restore order in Hong Kong.
    • It held that these three countries chose the wrong path of politicising judicial cooperation with Hong Kong, and it has seriously hurt the basis of judicial cooperation.
    • They used the national security law as an excuse to announce the suspension of extradition treaties unilaterally.

Source: TH

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