Beijing has agreed to start discussions with the SAR government on a "notification mechanism" about Hong Kong residents who get detained across the border, following a request from the Chief Executive, CY Leung.
However, a statement from the local government did not mention whether Beijing had any response to other queries from Leung, made in a letter to the central government last week.
Leung had highlighted Hong Kong’s concerns over whether mainland authorities had enforced their law in Hong Kong, following claims by Causeway Bay bookseller Lam Wing-kee that he was kidnapped after crossing into Shenzhen, and kept in illegal detention on the mainland for eight months.
The Chief Executive had also relayed concerns over whether the incident affected the One Country, Two Systems principle, and the constitutional protection of Hong Kong residents’ freedom and rights.
However, a press release from the SAR government on Monday only said that the central government has "agreed to start discussion on the existing notification mechanism between the two places".
It added that the Chief Executive expressed gratitude to the CPG [Central People’s Government] for its positive response", and that officials will liaise with their mainland counterparts to work out the follow-up arrangements.
Xinhua news agency also reported that mainland police have agreed to carry out a review as soon as possible.
It said mainland authoritites have invited the SAR government to send a delegation to Beijing to discuss the matter. The report added that relevant local law-enforcement agencies will also inform the delegation about the details of Lam Wing-kee's case.
Democratic Party legislator James To urged the two sides to exchange all information about Hong Kong residents who are taken into custody in the mainland, including those who are arrested by the People's Liberation Army, The Central Discipline Committee, and all other units authorised to detain people.
Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok, who represents the legal sector, said he hopes that mainland authorities will also pledge not to force detainees to sign papers to give up their legal rights
“They should not be allowed to force the detainee to sign documents such as ‘I give up my legal rights’... ‘I give up my right to contact my family’... or that ‘you don’t have to use the notification mechanism to contact the Hong Kong police’, he said. “They should not be allowed to have the power to coerce people into signing those statements because if they are allowed to do that, that would mean that the whole notification mechanism is meaningless.”
Last updated: 2016-06-27 HKT 17:21