Hong Kong: Proposed extradition law amendments a dangerous threat to human rights

Hong Kong’s proposed extradition law amendments constitute a direct threat to human rights in Hong Kong and should be dropped, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Monitor and more than 60 other NGOs said in an open letter to Carrie Lam, the city’s Chief Executive, on Thursday.

Open letter available in Chinese and English.

On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of Hong Kong to ask the government to drop the draft law amendments, which if enacted could see anyone present in the Hong Kong territory transferred to mainland China without genuine and effective human rights safeguards.

Man-Kei Tam, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, warned:

“If enacted, this law would extend the ability of the Mainland authorities to target critics, human rights activists, journalist, NGO workers and anyone else in Hong Kong, much in the same way they do at home.

“We urge the Hong Kong government to withdraw these dangerous extradition law amendments  These would allow defendants to be handed over to a judicial system on the mainland that offers no protection whatsoever against politically-motivated prosecutions by the authorities and is rife with torture and other forms of ill treatment, forced confessions, unfair trials and a lack of meaningful remedies.”

Next week, lawmakers are set to debate the bill without the opportunity to fully scrutinize it after the government bypassed regular procedures to accelerate its adoption.

Amnesty International experts on the human rights situation in Hong Kong and China are available for interview, including at Sunday’s demonstration.