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Beijing's targeting of pro-democracy activists abroad

is further evidence of the need to suspend extradition treaties

May 6, 2022

Today, the Independent Commission Against Corruption in Hong Kong issued a statement that it will attempt to extradite the former pro-democracy lawmaker and prominent pro-democracy activist in exile, Ted Hui, for encouraging citizens to cast blank ballots in the recent “Patriots Only” Legislative Council elections.

In the last few months, the Independent Commission Against Corruption has arrested 10 people for “inciting others to cast blank ballots” and three have been convicted. The “Patriots Only” Legislative Council elections, took place after Beijing introduced new electoral changes in Hong Kong, which barred pro-democracy candidates and parties from running and cut the number of directly elected lawmakers.

Commenting on the statement from the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Benedict Rogers, Hong Kong Watch’s Chief Executive, said:

“This outrageous witch-hunt against a prominent pro-democracy activist and lawmaker in exile, reveals this so-called commission against corruption is far from independent. Instead, it is operating under the direction of Beijing who continues to use the threat of extradition and Interpol to silence its critics in Hong Kong and abroad.

Despite barring pro-democracy parties from running in the recent Legislative Council elections and cutting the number of directly elected lawmakers, Beijing and its lackeys in Hong Kong are now seeking to criminalise the casting of blank ballots.

Beijing’s campaign to threaten pro-democracy activists abroad and criminalise the casting of blank ballots in elections cannot be tolerated. Western countries with active extradition treaties with Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China should take this statement as further evidence of the pronounced need to review and cancel these treaties.”

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