US expresses 'grave concern' over lack of procedural protections in Hong Kong extradition bill, backs public opposition

Washington: The Donald Trump administration has expressed its grave concern over Hong Kong's proposed amendments to its fugitive offenders' ordinance, saying it would permit Chinese authorities to request the extradition of individuals, if passed.

 US expresses grave concern over lack of procedural protections in Hong Kong extradition bill, backs public opposition

Protesters rallying against the proposed amendments to extradition law at the Legislative Council. AP

The peaceful demonstration by hundreds of thousands of people from Hong Kong, a day earlier, clearly shows the public's opposition to the proposed amendments,  state department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters.

The United States shares the same concern like that of Hong Kong's citizens over the lack of procedural protections in the proposed amendments.

It could undermine Hong Kong's autonomy and negatively impact the territory's longstanding protections of human rights, fundamental freedoms, and democratic values, as enshrined in the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Ortagus said.

“We are also concerned that the amendments could damage Hong Kong's business environment and subject our citizens residing in or visiting Hong Kong to China's capricious judicial system,” she added.

Last month Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with a delegation of pro-democracy leaders from Hong Kong to discuss their broad reservations about the extradition proposal.

“We believe that any amendments to the fugitive offenders ordinance should be pursued with great care and in full consultation with a broad range of local and international stakeholders who may be affected by the amendments,” Ortagus stated.

She also said that the continued erosion of the “One Country, Two Systems” framework puts at risk Hong Kong's long-established special status in international affairs.

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Updated Date: Jun 11, 2019 11:27:03 IST