Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Questions (109, 110)

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

109. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the extradition law proposed in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26210/19]

View answer

Ruth Coppinger

Question:

110. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the measures used against protestors in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26211/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 and 110 together.

I am aware of the bill that was proposed in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region which sought to amend local legislation to allow for extradition to the Chinese Mainland, Macau and Taiwan. I note that, on 15 June, the passage of this legislation was suspended indefinitely by the Hong Kong authorities in response to ongoing protests by Hong Kong citizens.

The Consulate General in Hong Kong has been closely monitoring and reporting on developments in relation to the proposed extradition bill and the related demonstrations. The Consul General, along with the EU Office and representatives of other EU Member States, has engaged directly with the Hong Kong authorities to set out our concerns with the proposed bill.

In this House last week, I highlighted Ireland's support for the right of citizens to assembly and freedom of expression, which are provided for under Hong Kong's Basic Law. I urged demonstrators to express their rights in a peaceful manner, and for the police to respect these rights and to exercise restraint in response. I note that while the demonstrations have continued since the suspension of the proposed legislation, they have largely passed without incident, which is welcome.

Ireland will continue to monitor the situation through our Consulate General in Hong Kong.