Church fights changes to Hong Kong’s extradition law

Light of truth

The Hong Kong government’s determination to pass a bill amending its controversial extradition law has compelled Christian communities to express their concern in a series of statements. Officially known as the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance, the law would allow people from the former British colony to be sent to mainland China to face trial. Secretary for Security John Lee Kachiu told reporters on May 20 that because the pro-democratic bloc and pro-government camp failed to cooperate on the matter, the bill would be submitted to the Legislature Council’s general assembly for a second reading on June 12.

There was hope of a compromise at a recent meeting of the Legislature Council’s Bills Committee, which was set up recently, but the ultimate result was a stalemate.

The Concern Group of Pastors, Hong Kong Christian Council (HKCC) and other Christian communities responded by urging Christians to pray for a speedy resolution.

The former recently collected 3,000 signatures and presented a petition to the Office of the Chief Executive on May 21.

It said the proposed amendment would jeopardize the “one country, two system” framework, deny Hong Kong’s normal connections with other regions, restrict people’s safety, and pave the way for abuse.

The group also worried that the rushed piece of legislation would deepen social conflict and make the people of Hong Kong more distrustful of the government of the Special Administrative Region (SAR), which in turn could harm Hong Kong’s long-term development.

“If the law is not amended, the suspect in [that] homicide case would escape trial and would not be brought to justice,” a representative of the church said in a recent media interview. He was referring to a case dating back to February 2018 when a 19-year-old Hong Kong citizen allegedly killed his girlfriend — who was three months pregnant at the time — during a vacation in Taipei and then dumped her body behind some bushes before fleeing home.

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