Mon, 28 Sep 2020

Hong Kong on Wednesday said it had suspended its extradition agreements with France and Germany after the two European powers made the same move to protest a threat to freedoms posed by a new Chinese security law.

"The two countries have politicised juridical co-operation, thereby damaging the basis of juridical co-operation between [Hong Kong] and Germany and France," the city's government said in a statement.

The introduction of the security law has raised new tensions between China and the West, compounding existing strains over the treatment of the Uighur Muslim minority and the behaviour of telecoms giant Huawei. Critics say the new security law curtails the right to protest and freedom of speech.

It also establishes a security office in Hong Kong with its personnel under China's jurisdiction.

Britain last month suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong "immediately and indefinitely" in response to the new law while Germany suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong over the decision to push back local elections by a year. The UK has also said it would provide a fast track to citizenship for some 3 million Hong Kong residents following the entry into force of the new security law.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand also have already suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong.

Earlier this month France said it would halt ratification of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong after Beijing introduced the controversial new security law in the former British colony.

"In light of the latest developments, France will not proceed as it stands with the ratification of the extradition agreement signed on May 4, 2017 between France and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region," the French foreign ministry said in a statement at the time.

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters, AFP and AP)

Orginally published on France24

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