Foreign Minister: Hong Kong extradition treaty should not be applied

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File picture of Pekka Haavisto talking to reporters in Brussels, Foreign Affairs Council meeting 13th July 2020 / Credit: European Council

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) says an extradition treaty between Finland and China “should not be applied” any longer because it means that suspects would be handed over to China – where they could potentially face a death sentence – instead of being dealt with in Hong Kong, as the treaty originally intended.

Haavisto made the comments to reporters in Brussels on Monday after a meeting of EU foreign ministers

At the end of June the Chinese government implemented new restrictive security laws for Hong Kong, a move which has been criticised by human rights groups and a number of Western countries.

There are serious concerns about rule of law, fair trials, freedom of expression and for political opposition in Hong Kong, with Beijing now taking a more hardline stance on law and order.

Although nobody has ever been sent from Finland to China under the terms of the extradition treaty, Haavisto says the realities of the Chinese legal system, like closed-door trials and capital punishment, are something Finnish officials would have to take into account when deciding on any extradition requests in the future.