Thursday, 20 June 2019

Questions (61)

Seán Crowe


61. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his attention has been drawn to the recent protests in Hong Kong against an extradition Bill (details supplied) that would allow the authorities in Hong Kong to extradite persons to mainland China; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25923/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I am aware of the protests which have been taking place in Hong Kong over recent weeks. The Consulate General in Hong Kong has been monitoring and reporting on the developments in relation to the demonstrations and on the proposed extradition bill to which the Deputy refers. The Consul General, along with the EU Office and representatives of other EU Member States, has also engaged directly with the Hong Kong authorities on the proposed bill. I note that the passage of this legislation has now been suspended indefinitely by the Hong Kong authorities.

Ireland fully supports the right to assembly and freedom of expression, as provided for under Hong Kong's Basic Law, and I welcome the peaceful passing of the most recent demonstration on the 16 June. In this House on 18 June, I urged the security forces to respect these rights and to exercise restraint in their response, and called upon the demonstrators to express these rights in a peaceful manner.

Ireland also fully supports the EU statement on this matter, which was issued by the Spokesperson for High Representative Mogherini on the 12 June.

An updated travel advice notice alerting people to the demonstrations and advising that areas of potential unrest be avoided has been issued by my Department. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and, together with our EU partners, will engage with the Hong Kong authorities and others on this issues as it develops.