“As co-chairs of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China for New Zealand, we joined last week with colleagues from ten other legislatures which have extradition treaties with Hong Kong to discuss the impact of the national security law.
We are calling on the New Zealand government to confirm that there will be no extraditions made to Hong Kong under this new law. Furthermore, we think it important for the New Zealand government to clarify what the new law may mean for those Hong Kongers in New Zealand who have spoken out against the law changes or the Chinese Communist Party, and who may travel back to, or transit through Hong Kong.
The new law creates offences which drastically curtail freedom of speech, with suggested sentences of up-to life imprisonment for various forms of political dissidence. We believe the new law fundamentally compromises the democracy and rule of law in Hong Kong.
The National security law also has extraterritorial jurisdiction, applying to both Hong Kong and non-Hong Kong citizens who are deemed to have committed offences abroad. This raises the prospect that extradition requests connected with this legislation may be made to our government by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
There is understandable fear among the Hong Kong expatriate community about this law. We believe that our government must therefore clarify that there will be no extradition to Hong Kong for the foreseeable future.
Under our current treaty arrangements, extradition to Hong Kong may be refused on human rights grounds, and if the extradition is deemed to be politically motivated. However, as many pointed out when the Government of Canada suspending their extradition treaty with Hong Kong last Friday, “unlikely” is insufficient reassurance for those who stand to suffer under this law.
We hope therefore that our Government will confirm that there will be no extradition under this law to Hong Kong.
Read more: No Extradition to Hong Kong campaign