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大專界反對特區政府修改引渡法例 Tertiary Institutes' Opposing the SAR Government's Amending the Extradition Laws
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大專界反對特區政府修改引渡法例

因應去年有港人在台涉嫌干犯謀殺,保安局最近就引渡逃犯法例建議兩項修訂,提出設立「一次性個案移交」機制,其適用範圍包括中國大陸。若修訂通過,日後只要被中國政府定性「犯罪」,身在香港者亦有機會被引渡到大陸受審。內地仍未適用的《公民權利和政治權利國際公約》,其司法制度未能確保公平審訊,更不時出現隨意監禁、施虐、迫供、政治打壓、審訊不公和死刑等情況,故美國、加拿大、英國和澳洲均未與中國達成「引渡逃犯條例」。特區政府過去也因類似原因,未與中國政府達成「移交安排」。我們對政府建議非常憂慮,相關修訂將威脅任何身處香港人士的自由,原因如下:

1.根據現行《逃犯條例》,港府已可應中國以外任何與香港沒有引渡協議的司法管轄區的要求,作出一次過的個案移交安排,但條件是要經過行政、立法及司法三重把關。現時提出的修訂,卻剔除立法會的把關角色,並將單次移交的程序,擴展至中國大陸。

2. 雖然保安局局長李家超曾表示,在修訂後的《逃犯條例》下,引渡機制不適用於涉及政治的案件,但翻查資料,從事不同職業的維權人士,皆被中國政府當局以非政治性質罪名拘捕。例如曾出售批評中共之書籍,最後被捉拿至中國的銅鑼灣書店股東桂民海,其官方公佈之罪名亦只是「交通肇事罪」。可見即使《逃犯條例》的建議修訂並不涉及政治罪名,中國政府可利用經濟犯罪之名,將在港境內的異見人士引渡。

3. 特區政府聲稱,被要求引渡的人士仍可依賴香港法院為其把關,但其所謂「關口」只是法院接納案件有足夠表面證供受審,舉證責任遠低於刑事定罪所要求標準(證明無合理疑點),而且香港法院沒有資源和管轄權去仔細檢視該些證供,只要大陸當局能向本港法院提供表面可信的刑事罪行證據,引渡請求便十分可能獲法院批准,香港法庭是沒有權質疑大陸的司法制度是否公平公正。縱使政治和宗教罪行不被納入移交範圍,只要包裝成法例所所包括的46項罪行,包括欺詐、偽造文件、逃稅、賄賂、走私、非法墮胎、賣淫等罪行,便可提出移交。

4. 若修訂最終通過,引渡請求若由中國政府提出,特區行政長官難免因承受巨壓而批核請求。日後特區政府將能夠拘捕任何身處香港的記者、評論員、政界、文教界或任何異見人士,或與中國關係欠佳的商界人士和海外訪客,並藉逃稅、經濟犯罪或其他控罪,將其移交到人權記錄差劣,且司法系統欠缺獨立透明的中國大陸。引渡的巨大恐懼將對香港公民社會造成寒蟬效應,破壞香港自由。

5. 內地法制劣跡斑斑,港府的修訂將大幅度削弱本地法律對人權的保障 - 日後不僅批評中國政府或與中國關係欠佳人士可被移交內地,「孟晚舟事件」亦可發生在任何人身上,即使途經香港轉機者都可被移交,後患無窮,衝擊香港航運樞紐地位,危害《美港政策法》或被取消。

將逃犯引渡到大陸的議題,於1980年代中英談判時已被討論。為保障港人自由,《逃犯條例》和《刑事事宜相互法律協助條例》的起草過程相當小心。放棄捍衛自由人權的決心,不僅會引起香港居民不必要的恐慌,更會令國際社會質疑香港能否繼續維持高度自治。《逃犯條例》修訂若獲通過,中共打壓異己的魔爪將極為容易由大陸延伸至香港。

我們強烈呼籲特區政府撤回修訂引渡法建議;倘若特區政府堅持通過修訂,所有在港人士的言論、出版、學術和其他自由,將受到空前威脅,一國兩制以及香港的繁榮穩定,亦將敲起喪鐘。

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發起團體及學者 (姓氏筆劃序)
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* 學術自由學者聯盟
* 王淨江 (歌德學院教師)
* 成 名 (香港科技大學副教授)
* 何式凝 (香港大學教授)
* 何芝君 (明愛專上學院客座教授)
* 杜耀明 (香港浸會大學助理教授)(已退休)
* 谷淑美 (香港科技大學副教授)
* 邱祖淇 (香港浸會大學講師)
* 敖恆宇 (香港中文大學教授)(已退休)
* 梁恩榮 (教育大學客席副教授)
* 梁潔芬 (文藻外語大學研究教授)
* 陳士齊 (香港浸會大學高級講師)(已退休)
* 陳巧能 (嶺南大學副教授)
* 陳家洛 (香港浸會大學副教授)
* 陳清僑 (嶺南大學教授)
* 陸潔玲 (香港理工大學香港專上學院講師)
* 舒 琪 (香港電影歷史研究者)
* 黃志偉 (香港城市大學專上學院講師)
* 黃偉國 (香港大學兼任講師)
* 鄭宇碩 (香港城市大學教授)(已退休)
* 賴建國 (明愛專上學院高級講師)
* 蘇耀昌 (香港科技大學講座教授)

Tertiary Institutes Oppose the SAR Government's Amending the Extradition Laws

In response to the implication of a Hong Kong citizen in a homicide case in Taiwan last year, the Security Bureau recently suggested two amendments to existing extradition laws, proposing a “one-off case-based surrender” arrangement and including mainland China in the application of such an arrangement. If the proposed amendments are passed, any person physically in Hong Kong, once designated a “criminal” by the Chinese government, may in future be extradited to the mainland for trial. As the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has not yet been applied to the mainland and its justice system does not ensure fair trials, while arbitrary imprisonment, torture, forced confessions, political persecution, unfair trials and death sentences are frequent, the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia have all not signed any fugitive extradition agreements with China. For similar reasons, the SAR government has not agreed to any “surrender arrangement” with China either. We are very worried about the government’s proposals. The proposed amendments will threaten the freedom of anyone who is physically in Hong Kong, based on the following reasons:

1. In accordance with the existing Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, the Hong Kong government is already able to process one-off case-based transfers at the request of non-contracting jurisdictions except for China, subject to administrative, legislative and judicial scrutiny. The proposed amendments remove the gate-keeping role of the Legislative Council and extend the one-off case-based mechanism to mainland China.

2. Although the Secretary for Security, John Lee, indicated that under the amended Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, the extradition mechanism will not apply to cases of a political nature, past records show that rights activists with different occupational backgrounds have been arrested by the Chinese government on non-political charges. For example, Gui Minhai, owner of Causeway Bay Books that sold publications critical of the Chinese Communist Party, was taken to China but was officially charged only with the “crime of causing traffic casualties”. It can be seen that even if the proposed amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance do not involve political offences, the Chinese government can nonetheless use charges of economic crimes to effect extradition of dissidents from Hong Kong.

3. The SAR government claims that the individuals wanted for extradition can rely on Hong Kong’s courts to gate-keep for them, but such “gate-keeping” only involves the court being satisfied that there is a prima facie case for trial, the burden of proof for which is much lower than the standards required of criminal convictions (proof beyond reasonable doubt). Moreover, Hong Kong’s courts will not have the resources or jurisdiction to examine related testimonies in detail; so long as mainland authorities can provide credible evidence of criminality, extradition requests stand a strong likelihood of being approved by the court as Hong Kong courts do not have the authority to question whether the mainland justice system is fair and just. Notwithstanding that political and religious offences are excluded from the sphere of extradition, charges can be made up to fall into the 46 crimes covered by the law, including fraud, forgery, tax evasion, corruption, smuggling, illegal abortion and prostitution etc. and extradition can be requested.

4. If the amendments are eventually passed, and if extradition requests are made by the Chinese government, the SAR Chief Executive will inevitably approve such requests as a result of immense pressure. The SAR government will be able to arrest any journalist, commentator, political or cultural and education personalities or indeed any dissident, or business people with poor relations with China and overseas visitors who are physically in Hong Kong and using charges of tax evasion, economic crimes or other charges, transfer them to mainland China which has an appalling human rights record and where the justice system lacks independence and transparency. The enormous fears of extradition will cause a chilling effect on Hong Kong’s civil society and harm Hong Kong’s freedoms.

5. Given the notoriety of the legal system on the mainland, the Hong Kong government’s amendments will massively weaken the protection of human rights by local laws ---in future, it will not only be possible for a person to be extradited to the mainland just for criticizing the Chinese government or having poor relations with China, but an incident like the “Meng Wanzhou case” may also happen to anyone, being transferred even when merely passing through Hong Kong in transit. This spells unending trouble for Hong Kong’s status as a transport hub and jeopardizes the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act, rendering its cancellation possible.

During the Sino-British negotiations in the 1980s, the topic of extraditing fugitive offenders to the mainland had already been discussed. In order to protect Hong Kong people’s freedoms, the drafting of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance was very careful. Abandoning the determination to defend freedoms and human rights will not only arouse unnecessary fears among Hong Kong people but will even cause the international community to question whether Hong Kong can maintain a high degree of autonomy. If the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance is amended as proposed, it will become ever so easy for the Chinese Communist Party’s claws of suppressing opposition to be extended from the mainland to Hong Kong.

We strongly call on the SAR government to withdraw the proposals to amend the extradition laws; if the SAR government insists on passing the amendments, the freedoms of speech, publication, academic pursuits and other freedoms of all people in Hong Kong will be faced with unprecedented threats, together with the death knell of “One country, Two systems” and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.



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Initiating Body and Scholars (Alphabetical order)
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* Scholars' Alliance for Academic Freedom
* CHAN Ka Lok, Kenneth (HKBU, Associate Professor)
* CHAN, Hau Nung Annie (Lingnan U, Associate Professor)
* CHAN, Stephen C.K. (Lingnan U, Professor)
* CHAN, Sze Chi (HKBU, Senior Lecturer, retired) 
* CHENG, Joseph Yu-shek (CityU, former Professor)
* HO Chi Kwan (Caritas Higher Institute of Education, Research Professor)
* HO, Petula Sik-ying (HKU, Professor)
* IP, Kenneth (Shu Kei) (Scholar of Hong Kong film history)
* KU, Agnes Shuk Mei (HKUST, Associate Professor)
* LAI Kin-Kwok (Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Senior Lecturer)
* LEUNG Yan Wing (EdUHK, Adjunct Associate Professor)
* LEUNG, Beatrice (Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Research Professor)
* LUK Kit Ling (HKCC, PolyU, Lecturer)
* NGO Hang Yue (CUHK, Professor, retired)
* SING Ming, Dixon (HKUST, Associate Professor)
* SO, Alvin Yiu-Cheung (HKUST, Chair Professor)
* TO Yiu Ming (HKBU, Assistant Professor, retired)
* WONG Chi Wai, Paul (CC City U, Lecturer)
* WONG Tsing-Kong (Goethe-Institut, Teacher)
* WONG Wai Kwok, Benson (Part-time Lecturer, HKU)
* YAU, Joe C.K. (HKBU, Lecturer)
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