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New Zealand faces global pressure over decision to extradite resident to China | New Zealand

New Zealand is under international pressure to stop the extradition of a resident to China, after a landmark Supreme Court ruling allowed the government to send a man accused of murder to Shanghai for trial.

decision was a reversal of previous court decisions, which blocked extradition on the grounds that Kyung Yup Kim, the defendant, would be at high risk of being tortured or having an unfair trial.

Now lawmakers and parliamentarians around the world, including the UK, Australia and Europe, have written to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Justice Minister Kris Faafoi, saying the case would create “a dangerous precedent” and could open the door to further extraditions. If this continues, Kim’s case will be the first time New Zealand has sent a resident to stand trial in China.

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), an international group of cross-party MPs, said in its letter that Kim’s extradition sets “a dangerous precedent, whereby Chinese government guarantees are taken at face value, putting the well-being of our citizens and residents at risk – a precedent which may have profound and disturbing implications for human rights beyond New Zealand’s borders.” It was signed by 22 politicians in exercise.

“As lawmakers from democratic countries around the world, we have taken a great interest in this case and stand ready to advocate on their behalf.”

Kim, a Korean-born permanent resident in New Zealand, is accused of killing a young woman in Shanghai in 2009 – a charge he denies. New Zealand courts had previously blocked his extradition, citing the risk of torture in China’s justice system and not receiving a fair trial. In a landmark decision in April, however, the Supreme Court ruled that the government could reasonably trust assurances from the Chinese government that Kim would not be at risk of torture or an unfair trial.

The court’s decision was greeted with concern by human rights groups and academics. Human Rights Watch China director Sophie Richardson called the decision “blind to reality” and said it set a “deeply troubling precedent”.

Dr Anna High, co-director of the Center for Law and Society at the University of Otago, said she was “deeply troubled by the decision”.

“There are serious and well-documented problems with China’s criminal justice system – the idea that a diplomatic promise is a sufficient basis to hand someone over to that system seems, at best, incredibly naive.”

MP Simon O’Connor, a New Zealand member of the alliance, said New Zealand’s decision had been met with “big surprise” by international politicians. “Certainly my fellow MPs and Senators around the world are surprised that New Zealand has confidence in the Chinese justice system,” he said. If it proceeds, O’Connor said the extradition would put New Zealand “out of step with other countries, other allies”.

Last year saw ongoing debate on whether New Zealand’s trade dependence on China could hamper its ability to make diplomatic calls that anger Beijing – a tension that the New Zealand government says has absolutely no impact on its decisions on matters of principle or human rights.

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in court documents that the extradition would be a “test case” for China, which the international community was watching closely. She said Beijing has “a significant interest in being able to extradite individuals to face criminal charges”. The decision to extradite now rests with Faafoi. The minister declined to comment on IPAC’s letter.

“We don’t trust the Chinese Communist Party’s judicial system,” O’Connor said. “Just look the two Canadian Michaels [Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor]how they were treated or think about the show the trials taking place in Hong Kong for the moment to show that we should not have confidence in the legal system with China. »

In March, Canadian diplomats were refused entry at the closed trials of a former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig, and a Canadian businessman, Michael Spavor, both detained for approximately two years. Yang Hengjun, an Australian citizen and writer accused of spying in China, said in May 2021 that he was subjected to more than 300 interrogations, including prolonged periods of torture. Australian Ambassador to China Graham Fletcher was removed from the courtroom during Yang’s one-day trial.

O’Connor said the ruling “sends a pretty chilling message to the Chinese diaspora – whether in New Zealand or any other country – that China can reach out through extradition…and target anti-CCPs.” . [Chinese Communist party] activists, or that might be a possibility.

New Zealand faces global pressure over decision to extradite resident to China | New Zealand

Source link New Zealand faces global pressure over decision to extradite resident to China | New Zealand

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