Monday, 25 November 2013

Pleading for Extradition

Wuer Kaixi tried again unsuccessfully to get himself extradited back to China
Former Tiananmen Square activist Wuer Kaixi is desperate to see his parents in China.

He has been in exile since 1989 and made a new life for himself in Taiwan, married well and gained weight too.

The "second most-wanted man" is wanted for "conspiracy to subvert" and Wuer tried to get himself arrested and deported back to the mainland, but was foiled again today.

He flew from Taiwan to Hong Kong and was detained at Chek Lap Kok airport for several hours, hoping he would be arrested by the police and then extradited so that he could at least see his ailing parents behind bars.

"I hope to be [re]united with them while they are still alive, even if it mean the reunion would take place behind a glass wall," he said. "I am transiting from [Hong Kong] because it is my last resort," he said in a written statement.

"What I am doing now is a result of the [mainland] government's absurd act of ordering my arrest, while at the same time refusing to allow me to return."

After four hours of interrogation, immigration officers deported him back to Taiwan.

Wuer said that a denial by the Hong Kong government to help him meant they did not accept with Beijing's official position.

"If that is so," he added, "I appreciate it... and I then request the Hong Kong government to stop denying [other] Chinese dissidents the right to enter."

Wuer's lawyer Lam Yiu-keung criticized the Immigration Department for not paying attention to his client's request.

"He never requested entry and had no intention of entering Hong Kong," says Lam. "He simply wanted to convey a message to the Hong Kong government to inform the [liaison office] of his intentions."

Wuer has previously tried unsuccessfully to get himself arrested in Macau, Japan and the United States. The Chinese government does not want to let Wuer have his way even though it would probably love to have him in prison.

Interestingly in 2004 he was allowed into Hong Kong to attend the funeral of Cantopop diva Anita Mui Yim-fong, but not to pay his respects for democratic leader Szeto Wah in 2011, along with fellow dissident Wang Dan.

Perhaps the next step is for Wuer to fly directly into China and that would be unknown territory in terms of how he would be treated. Would he be willing to dare to go that far?

With the 25th anniversary of June 4 coming up next year and a lot of media attention around it, we wonder if he will pull that stunt off.

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