Sky News
Sky News 20 Jul 2020

UK suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong in wake of new Chinese security law


The UK has suspended an extradition treaty with Hong Kong following the imposition of controversial new security laws on the territory by China.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the "necessary and proportionate" measure in a statement to the House of Commons on Monday.

The UK will also extend to Hong Kong the arms embargo it has applied to mainland China since 1989, Mr Raab said.

Hong Kong business tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested under the controversial security law imposed by China in June.

His newspaper offices have been raided by police over allegations of collusion with foreign forces.

Mr Lai has been a prominent pro-democracy voice and a supporter of protests that erupted last year.

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Police in Hong Kong have arrested nearly 300 people for protesting in the territory on Sunday. Protesters were on the streets on a day that Hong Kong should have been holding local elections, had they not been postponed for a year by the government over coronavirus fears. Police responded with pepper balls against protesters who demonstrated against the deferment. Many believe it was to prevent pro-democracy parties from gaining at the ballots, riding on a wave of anti-establishment feeling. A new security law that prohibits virtually all protest in the city has added to the anti-government mood.
China's new Hong Kong Security Law prohibits almost all forms of protest. Those convicted of offenses can be sentenced to life in prison. Accustomed to political activism and free expression, Hong Kong activists are trying to adjust to the new normal. At least ten people have been arrested under the new law. No one knows which political slogans are still allowed. Ever since the new national security law was instituted, political opinions have become dangerous.
Hong Kong's hospital system could face "collapse" as it grapples with a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, the city's leader Carrie Lam has warned.

She said the city was "on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak" and urged people to stay indoors.

New regulations, including mandatory face masks and the closure of dine-in restaurants, kicked in on Wednesday.

Hong Kong - which had early success against Covid-19 - is now regularly reporting over 100 new daily cases.

Less than a month ago, the average number of new daily cases was under 10.
Hong Kong media tycoon, Jimmy Lai, has been detained, one of seven people arrested under the new, Beijing-imposed national security law.
Lai is the most high-profile individual arrested yet under the new law.
An executive in Lai's media group says he was arrested on suspicion of "colluding with foreign powers"; he had already been facing multiple charges for his role in the city's pro-democracy movement.
The police also raided the offices of Lai's newspaper.

Al Jazeera's Sarah Clarke reports live from Hong Kong.

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