Law Council concern regarding arrest warrants issued for Hong Kong pro-democracy activists
5 July 2023
The Law Council of Australia notes with concern the announcement that Hong Kong SAR Police has issued arrest warrants for eight people living overseas, and placed bounties of HK$1million on each of their heads.
The subjects of these arrest warrants include prominent pro-democracy activists, former lawmakers and lawyers wanted in Hong Kong for alleged offences under the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the Hong Kong National Security Law).
Two of the individuals named, Mr Ted Hui and Mr Kevin Yam, reside in Australia.
The Law Council has previously expressed serious reservations regarding the Hong Kong National Security Law’s susceptibility to abuse, and its compatibility with the rule of law and international human rights obligations.
This includes in relation to the broadly defined offences of sedition, succession, subversion and ‘collusion with a foreign country or with external elements’, and the law’s purported extraterritorial application.
The Law Council also supported the suspension of the extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties between Australia and Hong Kong SAR in 2020.
The Law Council strongly opposes efforts to arrest and detain individuals exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and expression, which run counter to Hong Kong’s obligations as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and will continue to monitor developments in Hong Kong.
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