TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s judicial authorities have made it clear that any extradition cooperation between the country and Hong Kong will not materialize before human rights concerns are first addressed.
Hong Kong, the supposedly autonomous territory of China, is struggling to push through a highly controversial extradition bill that has led to demonstrations and violent protests.
The Security Bureau of Hong Kong gave notice it would amend its extradition law in February. This was partly done to overcome judicial obstacles preventing Hong Kong from sending a homicide suspect to Taiwan, the Ministry of Justice of Taiwan said in a press release.
Hong Kong resident Chan Tung-kai (陳同佳) allegedly murdered his pregnant girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing (潘曉穎) during a trip to Taiwan last year. Taiwan’s authorities have been unable to put him on trial because there is no relevant judicial agreement between the island and the special administrative region of China.
According to bill amendments proposed by the Security Bureau on March 26, individuals in Hong Kong could be extradited to China to face prosecution, regardless of their nationality. The proposal has sparked worldwide criticism over infringement of human rights, noted MOJ.
MOJ stated that it will work with Hong Kong authorities only under the condition that human rights are safeguarded. It calls on the H.K. government to heed public opinion before implementing any changes to the current extradition arrangements.