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What prevents Hong Kong from punishing people who committed crimes in China in Hong Kong? As you know, there were a lot of protests against the extradition law that the government of Hong Kong wanted to pass, but I was wondering if China wanted to really punish them, why wouldn't they allow Hong Kong to punish the people who committed illegal acts in China to be tried in Hong Kong under Hong Kong's laws and sent to a Hong Kong prison? Is there something in the law that prevents Hong Kong to do so? Is there absolutely no way for Hong Kong to do this?

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    I don't know anything about Chinese law, but in the West legal systems don't try people for crimes that weren't committed in their jurisdictions. – IllusiveBrian Aug 18 at 13:28
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    @IllusiveBrian Sometimes they do, for example there have been successful prosecutions of sex tourists who have raped children in other countries. There is special provision in UK law for this. – James K Aug 18 at 21:45
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    I have no law information precise enough to write an answer, but I strongly suspect that China wants to be able to prosecute citizens for political offenses (e.g., criticizing the Party) that would not be considered delictuous in democratic-leaning Hong-Kong, and not be prosecuted there. – Evargalo Aug 19 at 8:27
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    @Evargalo There is also no strong incentive for mainland China to respect the decisions of a Hong Kong court, and Hong Kong certainly couldn't force that unilaterally. Also, everyone should note that officially Hong Kong is a part of China, it's just special. – origimbo Aug 19 at 8:32
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    (Ir)Rel. to my comment above, as a curiosity: It is sometimes possible for a non-citizen serving a prison sentence in a country X [sentence handed by a court there typically for a crime committed there], to request to get transferred to serve the prison sentence in his own country. I wonder if e.g. Germany would agree to hand over an American, who has, by a German court, been convicted of a murder in the US, and given a [short in US standards] prison sentence, over to US to serve his/her sentence there. Quite theoretical question, as maybe the person would decide not to apply for the transfer. – Tuomo Aug 20 at 7:14
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why wouldn't they allow Hong Kong to punish the people who committed illegal acts in China to be tried in Hong Kong under Hong Kong's laws and sent to a Hong Kong prison?

The whole point of this is that all sorts of "political crimes" under Chinese law are legal in Hong Kong. If people were tried for these under HK law in HK they would be acquitted.

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