2018.02.17 The origin of the movements
There were several reasons causing the Anti-Extradition Bill movements in 2019 and 2020. The most direct cause was the ‘Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019’ (Wikipedia) proposed by the Hong Kong government. However, there were other reasons like the demand for reforming democracy, the incidence of Causeway Bay Books (Wikipedia) and the general concern on losing ‘high degree of autonomy’. The actions taken by the police later on in the social movements (More about police misconduct) and the unlawful legislation of such law triggered more protests in Hong Kong.
The murder on Poon Hiu-wing happened in a motel in Taipei. The victim Poon and the suspect Chan Tong-kai were both permanent residents of HKSAR. They travelled to Taiwan as a couple on 8 February 2018, then Poon was murdered on 17 February in the motel, whose corpse was disposed in the bush outside a subway station in Taipei a day after. Chan headed back to Hong Kong after the incidence alone.
On 4 December 2018, the Ministry of Justice of Taiwan requested Hong Kong to repatriate Chan to Taiwan for trial. Yet, the Hong Kong government refused the request due to the lack of mutual legal assistance arrangement between Hong Kong and Taiwan.（Official request from Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice ）
On 12 February 2019, the Security Bureau of Hong Kong proposed aforementioned amendments as a solution. The amendments would be allowing the Hong Kong government to hand suspects over to China, Macau and Taiwan and provide legal assistance to these countries.
On 12 March 2019, the Legislative Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan) passed the temporary bill of demanding the amendments should be only applicable between Hong Kong and Taiwan.（Original Article (in Chinese only)）
Many civil organisations and political parties has been showing their disagreeing stance on the amendments since the beginning. They were concerned that the government might make use of this law to put dissidents, activists or other people in Hong Kong, including visitors, to trials at courts in China that were controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
The parties or individuals who made a statement against the amendments include: (in chronological order)
Joint Statement of Hong Kong Journalists Association, Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, Independent Commentators Association, Journalism Educators for Press Freedom, Ming Pao Staff Association, Next Media Trade Union, Reporters Sans Frontieres, RTHK Programme Staff Union, Hong Kong Citizen News, D100, Hong Kong Free Press, inmediahk.net, Local Press, 852 Post, The Stand News (3 Apr)
It was suggested to hand Chan to Taiwan for this one time only, but the Hong Kong government declined the suggestions, which include:
The Hong Kong Bar Association proposed to amend the ‘Criminal Jurisdiction Ordinance’ and ‘Offences against the Person Ordinance’ in March, in order to expand the Hong Kong’s jurisdiction to allow Hong Kong to investigate and judge cases of murder involving Hong Kong permanent residents.
In April, Chin-wan proposed to establish a joint court of China and Hong Kong to deal with all persons arrested in Hong Kong.
Legislator Tien Puk-sun and Chan Wang-ngai proposed the method of Hong Kong residents to be judged by Hong Kong courts, and to sign the one-time protocol with Taiwan for the murder of Poon.
Legislator and barrister Yeung Ngok-kiu also suggested to amend the ‘Offences against the Person Ordinance’, imitating the situation of Hong Kongers to be judged in Hong Kong for sexual assault on children outside Hong Kong. It would allow Hong Kongers to be brought to court for murdering or man-slaughtering outside Hong Kong.
Legislator Wan Shiu-kin advised to amend the ‘Criminal Jurisdiction Ordinance’ to achieve the same aim. The Law Society of Hong Kong agreed to include murder and man-slaughter in the ‘Criminal Jurisdiction Ordinance’ and add retroactive clause to the ordinance, thereby expanding the jurisdiction of Hong Kong courts to deal with the murder of Poon in Taiwan.
However, the recommendations were all declined by the government due to Hong Kong’s separation of powers, impossibility to amend ordinances under Common Law. Hence, they insist to introduce the original amendments.
Followed by the decisions, it triggered the influential Anti-Extradition Bill Movement when the controversies escalated.