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Thursday, July 7, 2016, 00:27

CE unveils new protocols for HK residents detained on mainland

By Shadow Li
CE unveils new protocols for HK residents detained on mainland
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (center) meets the media, July 6, 2016. (Parker Zheng/China Daily)

New protocols have been established for dealing with cases where Hong Kong residents are detained by mainland authorities. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced on Wednesday that Hong Kong police will be notified within 14 days if a Hong Kong resident is detained by mainland police.

The CE made the announcement after a meeting on Tuesday between a high-level government delegation from Hong Kong and mainland authorities in Beijing.

Tuesday’s meeting also worked out an agreement to extend the two-way notification mechanism to all government law enforcement agencies and to provide more details, including a summary of the facts, for all the cases involved.

Leung said the central government attached great importance to the proposal by the SAR government and had arranged a meeting quickly to review the mechanism — which should be subject to review along with any changes in circumstances and also people’s expectations.

Another meeting is scheduled for the end of July.

The reciprocal notification mechanism, introduced in 2001, is activated when criminal measures against Hong Kong residents are imposed by the mainland’s public security bodies, customs, procuratorates or the Ministry of State Security.

After the meeting, police in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, revealed that Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee may face tougher criminal compulsory measures in connection with the sale of books banned by mainland authorities. Lam was detained by police in Ningbo for illegal business operations. Lam returned to Hong Kong in June after being released on bail. He then refused to return to the mainland and report to law enforcers there.

According to mainland laws, criminal compulsory measures include five types, namely summonses for questions, granting bail, residential surveillance, detention and arrest.

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said that there is no extradition agreement between the mainland and Hong Kong. He said mainland authorities made no request for law enforcement assistance regarding Lam’s case at Tuesday’s meeting. He added that only local laws are enforced in Hong Kong and except those listed in Annex III of the Basic Law, mainland laws are not effective in the city.

Acting commissioner of police Tony Wong Chi-hung said Hong Kong police will provide protection for Lam if he requests it.

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