mandag 13. juli 2020

You could end up in jail, US warns its citizens in China

The US has warned its citizens in China to “exercise increased caution” because of a heightened risk of arbitrary detention and exit bans that prevent foreign citizens leaving the country. Citizens could face prolonged spells in jail, without US consular support, or access to details of any alleged crime, the state department said. The warning, sent in an email to US citizens in China, comes after Beijing passed a national security law for Hong Kong, with the legislation drafted to cover people “from outside [Hong Kong]”, including non-residents.

Lawyers and activists have warned China could use this assertion of extra-territorial jurisdiction – the legislation could theoretically be used to bring charges against any person from any country – to mute critics around the world. The state department did not specify what prompted the alert, but it did warn that criticism of the Chinese government, even in private communications, could be used against foreign citizens.