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Greens call on Germany to end extraditions to Hong Kong

July 13, 2020

In light of a controversial security law, Germany's Green Party has called on the government to end an extradition agreement with Hong Kong. There is "good reason" Germany has no such deal with China, a lawmaker said.

Deutschland Berlin | Aktivisten protestieren in Solidarität mit Hongkong vor der chinesischen Botschaft
Image: Reuters/H. Hanschke

A member of Germany's Green Party on Monday called on the country's government to suspend an extradition agreement with Hong Kong in response to a new controversial security law requiring the territory to bow to the Chinese legal system.

Germany must stop "extraditing people to Hong Kong," Green member of the European Parliamentarian (MEP) Reinhard Bütikofer said in an interview with Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. 

Read more: Opinion: China to rule Hong Kong by fear with new national security law

Germany had signed an extradition bill with Hong Kong — and not with China — "for good reason," Bütikofer said. "Because we do not trust the Chinese legal system."

"We cannot, in all seriousness, hand people over to such an unjust system," the Green politician warned.

Joshua Wong 'I will continue to fight until the last minute'

'Nothing remains' of Hong Kong's autonomy

 Australia and Canada have already suspended their extradition agreements with Hong Kong.

With a new security law imposed by China and now in place, the special administrative region would be forced to accept the Chinese legal system, said Bütikofer.

He accused Beijing of massively interfering with Hong Kong's autonomy.

"Substantially, nothing remains" of Hong Kong's autonomy, the MEP said.

Read more: Can free press in Hong Kong survive national security law?

EU ministers can't just 'shrug shoulders'

EU foreign ministers must also make it clear that they won't just shrug their shoulders as they've done before, Bütikofer said.

Ministers will meet in Brussels on Monday to discuss the controversial security law, along with migration policy and tensions with Turkey. It is the first time EU foreign ministers will meet in person since the coronavirus crisis began.

The security law allows the Chinese authorities to take tough action against all activities they feel threaten national security, including succession, subversion of state power, local terrorist activities and collaborating with foreign forces to endanger national security. It also gives China greater legal jurisdiction in the semi-autonomous territory.

The principle of "one country, two systems" had granted the financial metropolis special rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, since 1997, when the former British colony was handed over to China.

kp/sms (AFP, Reuters)