Running From the Feds? Don’t Go to Hong Kong

Mother Jones

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Ever since Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who went public with details about two government surveillance programs, fled for Hong Kong, many have questioned whether he made the right choice. Why didn’t he go to WikiLeaks’ former base of operations, Iceland, where some information activists are lobbying to grant him asylum? (Here’s why Iceland may not have been a great option.) Why not France, which has an extradition treaty with the United States but, as Slate points out, also has a “history of reluctance to send people into the US criminal justice system”?

Since 2003, 137 countries have extradited or deported 7,066 people to the United States. Mexico, Colombia, and Canada are at the top of the list, according to data from the US Marshals Service. The number of extraditions by country varies widely and likely depends not just on relations with the United States but how many suspects flee there (Mexico and Canada clearly being favorites for fugitives making a run for the border). While Iceland did not send anyone back to the United States during this time, Hong Kong was number 18, with 47 extraditions.

Top 20 Countries that Extradite to the UNITED STATES

  1. Mexico 2,325 extraditions
  2. Colombia 1,272
  3. Canada 867
  4. Dominican Republic 309
  5. United Kingdom 182
  6. Jamaica 142
  7. Costa Rica 132
  8. Spain 124
  9. Germany 113
  10. Netherlands 87
  11. Belize 82
  12. Thailand 62
  13. Panama 60
  14. Israel 58
  15. Poland 54
  16. Philippines 51
  17. France 48
  18. Hong Kong 47
  19. Australia 45
  20. Italy 42

View the full list here.

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Running From the Feds? Don’t Go to Hong Kong

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