Czech Senate to call for withdrawal from Hong Kong extradition treaty following new security law

Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has said Prague would never extradite any anti-China protester to Hong Kong


Written by ČTK Published on 15.07.2020 15:00:19 (updated on 15.07.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, July 15 (CTK) – The Czech Senate will likely call on the cabinet to withdraw from the Czech-Hong Kong agreement on mutual extradition of suspects, based on a proposal its foreign committee approved today, arguing that the deal might otherwise jeopardize the rights of Czechs extradited to Hong Kong.

Such people’s fundamental rights and their right to a just trial might be endangered due to China’s new law on the security of Hong Kong, which took effect on July 1, the committee said, suggesting that the Czech cabinet also change the conditions of its cooperation with Hong Kong in other areas.

Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats, CSSD), however, said Prague would never extradite any anti-China protester to Hong Kong.

Czech parliament passed the Czech-Hong Kong agreement in question in 2014.

China’s new law on Hong Kong security stands above the Hong Kong laws and enables to establish an office for security oversight in Hong Kong.

The Czech MPs today proposed that the Senate, which is dominated by the opposition, adopt a resolution saying that China passed the law at variance with the one country, two systems principle and with its international commitments.

Petříček told the committee that China has sent a signal of its readiness to disrespect the historical commitments it signed in the past. Hong Kong was to enjoy the right to autonomy until 2047, which China’s step has changed now, something “we cannot turn a blind eye on without reacting,” he said.

“At present, we are finding out the reactions of other European states,” Petříček told CTK.

The committee head, Pavel Fischer (unaffiliated) asked whether someone who would demonstrate against China in Prague could be extradited for prosecution at China’s request based on its new law.

Petříček admitted that China might seek such extraditions, but the Czech Republic would never comply with such requests since it recognizes demonstrations as a political step that is not a crime.

The committee also recommended that the Senate resolutely condemn the denial of Hong Kong’s autonomy by China, the latter’s repeated interference in Hong Kong’s affairs as well as in the fundamental rights and freedoms of Hong Kong’s democratically elected representatives.

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