In response to the postponement of the general election in Hong Kong, Germany suspends extraditions to the Chinese special administrative zone. The decision by the Hong Kong government to disqualify and postpone a dozen opposition candidates for the election was “a further cut in the rights of Hong Kong citizens,” said Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) on Friday.
“In view of the current developments”, the federal government had decided to suspend the extradition agreement with Hong Kong. Germany has repeatedly “clarified its expectation that China will meet its obligations under international law”, Maas warned. This includes guaranteeing the legally guaranteed freedoms and rights. “And this includes the right to free and fair elections. The Hong Kong people have this right.”
The US government also condemned the postponement. This undermines democracy, said White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany.
The Beijing-compliant leadership in Hong Kong had previously announced that the general election would be postponed by one year, justifying it with the corona pandemic. Activists, on the other hand, see it as a maneuver to thwart a Democratic victory in the election that was originally planned for September.
It was only on Thursday that a dozen prominent activists were banned from running for regional elections, including the internationally known Joshua Wong.
The so-called security law also came into effect four weeks ago, under which life-threatening activities are punishable by the authorities as subversion, secession, terrorism or a conspiracy with foreign forces.
The law represents the most severe encroachment on the status of autonomy in Hong Kong to date. When it was handed over to China in 1997, the former British crown colony was granted special rights for 50 years, including freedom of expression and assembly.