Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Against the extradition of Kyung Yup Kim

Kyung Yup Kim is an alleged murderer. In 2010 he allegedly murdered a prostitute in Shanghai. Since May 2011 he has been on remand in New Zealand pending extradition to China to face trial for murder.

I have no opinion of whether Kim is innocent or guilty. But regardless, we should not extradite him to China. Why? Because China has the death penalty for murder, and they are the biggest state-murderer on the planet. If Kim is extradited, there is every chance that he will be executed by the Chinese government.

New Zealand opposes the death penalty. Our Bill of Rights Act affirms that everyone has a right not to be deprived of life, and this is regarded as one of sections for which there can be no "justified limitation". The pre-BORA Extradition Act says that a Minister "may" refuse extradition where there is a chance of execution. In light of the BORA, that "may" is now effectively a "must", of similar strength to the prohibition on extradition to torture.

New Zealand should not extradite people to be murdered. We should not extradite Kyung Yup Kim.