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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

On media reports that Germany has allegedly granted refugee status to a Hong Kong suspect who reportedly committed serious crimes and jumped bail, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today expressed strong opposition to Germany’s move, if confirmed to be true.

In response to press enquiries on the matter, the Hong Kong SAR Government said Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung met German Consul General in Hong Kong Dieter Lamle this afternoon at the Central Government Offices.

The Hong Kong SAR Government asked for this meeting which was also attended by Secretary for Security John Lee.

Mr Cheung said at the meeting that the Hong Kong SAR Government strongly objects to other jurisdictions harbouring criminals under different pretexts, which would only send a plainly wrong message to criminals that they need not face any criminal liability. He stressed that every individual should be responsible for his or her illegal actions.

He reiterated that the Basic Law ensures Hong Kong people enjoy extensive rights and freedoms. The freedoms of speech, media, publication, association, assembly, procession and demonstration are fully protected under the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights.

The city’s rule of law and independent judicial system are the core values of its society, and have long been held in high regard by the international community.

According to Basic Law Article 85, the Hong Kong SAR courts shall exercise judicial power independently, free from any interference. Articles 10 and 11 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights also provide sufficient protection to any person with any criminal charge laid against him, or whose rights and obligations are in a suit at law.

Prosecutions are made based on the acts but not political beliefs or background of the persons involved. There is no question of political persecution in Hong Kong.

Mr Cheung also stressed that anyone accused of breaching the law will face an open and fair trial. The Hong Kong courts will, as always, with their sound rule of law and human rights protection, handle all cases in an independent, fair and just manner.

He remarked that given Germany’s long-standing diplomatic presence in Hong Kong, the German authorities are expected to duly take into account the above factors in determining the truth and veracity of any claims for refugee status. The Hong Kong SAR Government would be dismayed if a basic assessment of facts had not been made.

Mr Cheung reiterated that foreign governments should stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, which are internal matters of the People’s Republic of China.

He asked the German Consul General in Hong Kong to convey the Hong Kong SAR Government’s position to the relevant German authorities.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News