Global RiskNews Briefs

Consulates in Hong Kong refused access to dual nationals needing assistance

According to the Canadian Foreign Ministry, Hong Kong has repeatedly denied access to foreign consulates seeking to provide assistance to detained dual nationals. Although these allegations may seem illegal, Hong Kong has the right to deny consular access due to treaties signed with Canada in 1997, when Hong Kong returned to China. Hong Kong has, however, traditionally accepted dual nationals, unlike China. Five diplomats claim that consular access to dual nationals had largely been granted by local authorities since Hong Kong became a part of China again, up until now.

This signals a change in policy for Hong Kong, likely heavily influenced by Chinese rule. It could mean that Hong Kong is tightening enforcement of consular treaties as tensions with Western governments escalate. The tensions were heightened by the imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong that drew outrage from other countries who advocated for its sovereignty. Western governments feared that the law was being used to crush freedoms.

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