Put Germany straight after refugee move: Regina Ip - RTHK
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Put Germany straight after refugee move: Regina Ip

2019-05-22 HKT 16:50
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  • Former security secretary Regina Ip says the SAR government must find out why Germany doubts the integrity of Hong Kong's courts. File photo: RTHK
    Former security secretary Regina Ip says the SAR government must find out why Germany doubts the integrity of Hong Kong's courts. File photo: RTHK
Regina Ip
Lawmaker and executive councillor Regina Ip says the SAR government should make a representation to Germany stressing that two Hong Kong fugitives reportedly granted refugee status in the European country would have been given a fair trial.

Pro-democracy activists Ray Wong and Alan Li skipped bail in 2017 after they were charged over the Mong Kok riot which took place the previous year.

Berlin granted the pair refugee protection last May, according to a New York Times report on Wednesday.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Wong said the pair chose to flee to Germany because it takes a strong stance against China, especially on human rights issues.

Wong told the newspaper that although Germany did not give a specific reason for granting him asylum, he had told the authorities that the charges he faced over the riot were politically motivated.

But Ip, a former security secretary, said she couldn't see how Wong and Li could be persecuted in Hong Kong on the basis of their political stance, noting that under international conventions, only a fear of such persecution would merit being granted refugee status.

"There is a lack of trust on the part of the German government that Wong and Li would face a fair and public trial in Hong Kong. I think this is a very serious assumption which the SAR government should take up with the German authorities as a matter of priority," Ip said.

"What are the grounds for accepting these two young people as political refugees? And what grounds do they have for doubting the integrity of our courts?"

Ip conceded, however, that it would be difficult for the SAR government to request that Germany return Wong and Li if the authorities there believe the pair could face persecution.

She also dismissed the men's reported concern that they could be extradited to the mainland if they returned to Hong Kong, noting that they did not violate any mainland laws in relation to the 2016 riot.

Meanwhile, Business and Professionals Alliance lawmaker Priscilla Leung said Germany had made a political decision which wasn't in accordance with legal principles. Leung, who is also a barrister, said the international community has to respect Hong Kong's legal system.

"Our existing laws, in different respects, can reach the standard of other common law jurisdictions. So they should respect our jurisdiction," she said.

DAB lawmaker Holden Chow said the German government was sending a misleading message to the rest of the international community. He said the SAR government must clarify the situation to protect Hong Kong's international reputation.