The British Consul General to Hong Kong and Macao, Andrew Heyn, has expressed concerns over the speed of which the Hong Kong government is pushing through the extradition law change, even though, he says, the British government isn't necessarily opposed to the proposal.
Speaking on RTHK's programme, The Pulse, he added the British government needs to understand the implications of the law better to protect its citizens who live in or travel pass Hong Kong.
“We’d like to just understand better what the implications of these proposals are. So ours isn’t a position necessarily of opposition to extradition - it wouldn't really matter if we did oppose it. The point about it is we’d like to know more and understand it better,” he said.
“And we are, if I'm frank,...concerned about the speed at which these proposals are being moved through,” he added.
The proposed changes to Hong Kong's extradition law would allow the government to surrender fugitives to other jurisdictions with which the territory does not have a formal extradition agreement, on a case-by-case basis.
Critics have expressed concerns that this could see people sent to places where their legal rights may not be fully guaranteed.
Meanwhile, Heyn also expressed concerns over the SAR government’s refusal to renew the work visa of British journalist, Victor Mallet, without giving any reasons.
He said something like this never happened before, especially to what he calls a "well-respected" journalist who has many years of experience and service in Hong Kong.
“It would be worrying if it’d happened to any journalists. And obviously, in my job, it would be worrying particularly if it happens to any British journalists. And the fact that no reason was given for why that had happened, it was a problem,” he said.