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The name Chan Tong-kai should not be strange to Hongkongers. The escalating mass violence in Hong Kong could be said to start with his murder case, but now how many Hongkongers care about justice for the woman Chan allegedly murdered? Chan, born in 1998, allegedly murdered his girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing, who was 20 years old, during a Valentine's Day trip to the island of Taiwan in February 2018. Chan soon returned to Hong Kong before Taiwan police could issue a wanted order for him on December 3, 2018, lasting for 37 years and 6 months.
As there is no formal extradition agreement between Hong Kong and Taiwan, Chan was not sent to the island for investigation into the murder. He was only charged with money laundering in Hong Kong and sentenced to imprisonment of 29 months.
To fix the loopholes that could be met in similar cases, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government proposed in February 2019 to amend the two ordinances related to fugitive offenders, which soon aroused the attention of all parties.
After the government de facto announced the extradition bill as "dead" in June, which was a response to protesters' appeals, the protesters, however, became increasingly more extreme and escalated the situation. The original peaceful demonstration has upgraded into a pall of black terror hanging over the city known as the international financial hub.
Rioters have attacked police officers, assaulted tourists and reporters, damaging the order of the city. They attempted to wreak havoc in the city, paralyze the government and restore the "glory" of the colonial era. They have been trying to achieve their so-called democracy by using violence, which makes the word "democracy" a joke.
The protesters ask for righteousness but they have selectively overlooked that the extradition bill aimed at defending their own righteousness.
According to the fugitive offenders legislation, even if Chan confesses the murder to the Hong Kong police, the Hong Kong Security Bureau cannot charge him with murder.
This is actually a potential threat to Hong Kong's social security. If a murderer or some other criminal escapes to Hong Kong from the Chinese mainland, Macao or Taiwan, he or she should be dealt with in accordance with applicable laws. Otherwise, Hong Kong will become a haven for criminals and severely damage the safety of Hong Kong residents, Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, a solicitor of the High Court of Hong Kong, said in April.
Regrettably, rioters and protesters refuse to admit that the extradition bill was to protect Hongkongers' human rights. They have been refusing to accept the government's efforts to ease tensions and continue venting their anger. Is Hong Kong going to be a better place if they continue the chaos? They have never really thought about that.
Chan is expected to be released in the middle of October. If he is not charged with other crimes, he will fully enjoy the freedom as any other divine Hongkonger does, including the freedom of leaving Hong Kong.
It is ironic that the protesters who claim to defend Hongkongers' human rights ultimately shelter a murderer.