Will Hong Kong harbour Edward Snowden?

 

Edward Snowden, the man who leaked the largest amount of classified information in the history of the NSA, has been advised to leave Hong Kong. A senior law official cited the city's extradition agreement with America as reason to hasten the departure of the whistleblower, who faces jail in America. But how will he fare should he stay?

In the New Yorker Evan Osnos points out how strange it is that an American citizen should flee to a territory overseen by China - hardly known for its civil liberties:

 "Going to Hong Kong out of devotion to free speech is a bit like going to Tibet out of a devotion to Buddhism; the people love it, though they live under authorities who intervene when they choose. On Monday Wen Yunchao, a liberal blogger in Hong Kong, wrote that Snowden has gone “out of the tiger’s den, and into the wolf’s lair.”'

Paul J Davis of the Financial Times warns that Hong Kong's extradition treaty with the US is "well-used". However, "Experts said the treaty does specifically allow Hong Kong to refuse requests when offences are deemed political rather than criminal."

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