Hong Kong has reached the new agreements on mutual notification mechanism with the Mainland, and the DAB welcomes this. We feel that as the former mechanism dated to 2001, some kind of improvement was necessary. This new mechanism clarifies the time and content of the notification and allows Hong Kong residents to quickly understand the reasons, case and situations where a Hong Kong person is arrested on the Mainland, which is in accordance with the hopes of the general public in Hong Kong and also our proposal on this issue.
Also, in regards to the content of the notifications may include terrorist activities or crimes against state security, we feel that this new mechanism will improve the transparency of the investigation carried out by the mainland enforcement departments and thereby help deal with suspicions of Hong Kong people on these cases.
We feel the new mechanism still has space for improvement:
1.According to the current procedure where the shortest timeframe of notification is 7 working days, as many of these cases will be in neighbouring Shenzhen and Guangdong province, this is quite long. Therefore, we hope that the government can research how to shorten the notification timeframe.
2.The HKSAR and Central Governments should continue to hold discussions, such as one year after implementation of the new mechanism, and continue to improve the notification timeframe and transparency, guarantee the rights of both Mainland and Hong Kong compatriots.
3.Under the new mechanism, the longest timeframe of notification is 14 days, however no clear reasons nor rationales will be given for choosing this amount of time. We are worried that notification will not occur for most cases until 14 days after arrest. The government should explain the reasons for cases where notification takes longer than 7 days (such as 8-14 days) and also investigate the actual reasons for such delays, for example if a suspect refuses to divulge information or the information provided was faulty and needs to be re-verified. This can clearly explain to the people of Hong Kong the difficulties involved in such cases and allow society to judge these cases objectively.
Media Inquiries: DAB Vice-Chairperson Gary Chan (7770 0829)