1. 2019年2月12日，政府向立法會提交修訂《逃犯條例》以及《刑事事宜相互法律協助條例》的建議。該建議讓政府可以個案形式移交疑犯，而範圍則包括中國內地、台灣和澳門，及任何其他未有長期安排的地方 。
【Statement of the Joint Professional Groups regarding the HKSAR Government’s proposal to amend rendition arrangements】
1. On 12 February 2019, the Government submitted a proposal (the “Proposal”) to the Legislative Council (the “LegCo”) to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance (Cap. 503) and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance (Cap. 525). The Proposal will allow the surrender of suspects in criminal cases between Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Macau and other jurisdictions with which the HKSAR has no long-term rendition arrangement.
2. The Proposal would affect everyone physically present in Hong Kong, including both residents and travellers visiting or passing through the territory. The Proposal would cover an extensive scope of offences, many of them relate to commerce and trading, such as offences relating to fiscal matters, taxes or duties.
3. If Hong Kong courts could surrender anyone physically present in Hong Kong to mainland China to stand criminal trial, it would dissolve the boundaries between Hong Kong and the mainland at an accelerated pace. The independent judiciary, which Hong Kong is very proud of, would be seen as an integral part of mainland China’s legal system by the international community, shaking their confidence in Hong Kong’s judiciary. This would also pose a question as to whether the mutual legal assistance arrangements between Hong Kong and foreign jurisdictions would continue. This would not be beneficial to Hong Kong.
4. In addition, we are deeply troubled by the Proposal as it fails to protect Hong Kong people’s right to a fair trial; if adopted, it will be difficult for the Government to seek vindication in cases of Hong Kong people being wrongly convicted or punished in a foreign jurisdiction.
5. Mainland China is a jurisdiction with a tattered human rights record; wrongful convictions are not uncommon. Since 1997, the relevant Hong Kong provisions expressly prohibit the surrender of suspects to mainland China and always serve as significant protection for Hong Kong people’s liberty. The Proposal would deprive us of such protection.
6. On the other hand, we note the Proposal will remove LegCo’s gate-keeping role in scrutinising the availability of fair trial in the requesting foreign jurisdiction.
7. According to the Government, when the LegCo discusses a particular surrender case, relevant case details will inevitably be publicly disclosed. It would alarm the suspects who would then flee. In a subsequent hearing (if the suspects are eventually arrested), they may also mount a judicial challenge on the ground that their case details have been publicly discussed and their opportunity for fair hearing has been compromised.
8. Our view is that this issue can be addressed by arresting the suspects before submitting their cases to the LegCo or redacting personal information at the time of submission. We have yet to see any compelling reasons from the Government as to why the LegCo should be stripped of its crucial role as a gatekeeper of the rights of Hong Kong people.
9. Furthermore, while claiming that in-depth discussion of specific cases will result in the said problems, the Government is trying to justify its proposed amendments by publicly referring to the case of a suspected murder of a Hong Konger in Taiwan by another Hong Konger. This is self-contradictory and also calls into question of whether discussion of specific cases will result in those problems as suggested by the Government.
10. We urge the Government to limit the scope of the amendments, such that the applicable jurisdictions are expanded to include Taiwan while excluding mainland China and Macau. This will provide a legal basis for the surrender of the suspect in the Taiwan murder case, and also ease the concerns of Hong Kong people being surrendered to the mainland, either directly or via Macau.
* The public consultation period in respect of the proposed amendments will conclude on 4 March. We welcome all members of the public to adopt this statement and submit it to the Government. If you want to express your views, please email [email protected], send a fax to 25243762, or write to Security Bureau (A Division), 10th Floor, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong.
For details, please see: https://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/special/views.htm
Joint Professional Groups Signatories:
1. 精算思政 Act Voice
2. 思政築覺 ArchiVision
3. 藝界起動 Artists Action
4. CM Doctors Cure 本草匡時
5. Democratic Action Accountants 民主進步會計師
6. 思言財雋 Financier Conscience
7. Frontline Tech Workers 前線科技人員
8. 全民教育局 HKEd4All
9. 良心理政 HK Psychologists Concern
10. 保險起動 Insurance ARISE
11. 杏林覺醒 Médecins Inspirés
12. Nurse Politik 護政
13. 職療同行 OccuFocus
14. 物理治療起動 Physio Action
15. Progressive Lawyers Group 法政匯思
16. 高教公民Progressive Scholars Group
17. 進步教師同盟 Progressive Teachers’ Alliance
18. Radiation Therapist and Radiographer Conscience 放射良心
19. 社工復興運動 Reclaiming Social Work Movement
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