France suspends extradition agreement with Hong Kong following decision by other countries

"In the light of the latest developments, France will not ratify the extradition agreement signed on May 04, 2017 between France and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region," said the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman.

The French government announced today that it will not ratify the extradition agreement with Hong Kong, due to China's imposition of the controversial security law in the former British colony, following a decision already taken by other countries.

"In the light of the latest developments, France will not ratify the extradition agreement signed on May 04, 2017 between France and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region," said the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman.

Last Friday, for the same reasons, Germany took a similar position in suspending the extradition treaty with Hong Kong, after, in July, Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom also did the same.

"In view of current events, we have decided to suspend the extradition agreement with Hong Kong," German Foreign Minister Keiko Maas said in a statement.

Maas added as a reason for the decision the postponement of legislative elections in Hong Kong, justified by the authorities due to the covid-19 pandemic, at the end of a month marked by the disqualification of candidates from the pro-democracy movement, in what the German minister said constituted “A new attack on citizens' rights” in the semi-autonomous territory.

In late June, after a wave of demonstrations for fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, China passed the national security law, contrary to the autonomous region status defined in the former British colony's retrocession agreement in 1997.

The new law provides, among other measures, punishments for activists for separatism, terrorists, acts of subversion and foreign interference.

On the same day, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, appointed by Beijing, announced the postponement of elections that should allow, in September, to renew the Legislative Council (Legco, Parliament).

The decision sparked protests by the pro-democracy movement, which accused Carrie Lam of instrumentalizing the pandemic to protect itself from defeat at the polls.

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