21 countries demand China’s demise attack on Hong Kong’s press freedom

The United States and 20 other countries issued a joint statement on July 10 expressing concern about the current and future outlook for press freedom in Hong Kong.

Twenty-one government groups — part of the Associated State of Media Established In 2019, he pointed out the recent forced closure of Hong Kong’s leading democratic newspaper, Apple Daily, and the arrest of newspaper staff to claim freedom of the press and the safety of journalists.

“The use of National Security Law to curb journalism is a serious and negative step that undermines Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong, as stipulated in Hong Kong Basic Law and the United Kingdom. . Joint Declaration ”, statement read.

Freedom of financial hubs is disappearing at an alarming rate after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) imposed strict national security legislation last summer. Since then, dozens of city opposition leaders, even if they have not fled abroad as political refugees, are now facing prosecution or being jailed.

Recently, Amnesty International Said The law “guided Hong Kong a quick path to becoming a police state and caused a human rights emergency for the people living there,” he said.Reporters Without Borders Called About democracy around the world to “end authoritarian policies and put more pressure on the Chinese administration to ensure the restoration of press freedom” in Hong Kong.

On June 17, 500 police officers raided the Apple Daily newsroom, freezing millions of paper assets and effectively closing the paper. The final edition of this treatise was printed on June 24th, after which the social media account was closed.

Two of the newspaper’s senior executives, CEO Cheung Kim-hung and editor-in-chief Ryan Law, have been charged with conspiracy under the National Security Act. They are currently in custody after being denied bail last month. Their next court hearing is scheduled for August 13.

Two Apple Daily writers, Fung Wai-kong And Young Chinky, Was arrested in late June. After that, Fung was released on bail.

Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, was sentenced to imprisonment for support for a large-scale protest in Hong Kong two years ago during the height of the anti-CCP and democratization movement that began in June 2019. I’m in prison. Another “national security” case.

Epoch Times Photo
Hong Kong media mogul and democratic activist Jimmy Lai will participate in a protest against the controversial expulsion bill in Hong Kong on April 28, 2019. (YuGang / Epoch Times)

“The proceedings against Apple Daily are backed by increased media censorship in Hong Kong, including pressure on public broadcasting independence and recent legal action by Hong Kong authorities against journalists,” the group said.

June 28, Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) statement After the closure of Apple Daily, several local media expressed concern after taking self-censorship measures, including deleting published videos and commentary articles.

“It shows that’white terrorism’is everywhere,” said HKJA. “It reflects the media’s concerns about the potential of literary inquisition and their highly swaying beliefs. [Hong Kong] Government and law enforcement efforts to protect press freedom. “

White terrorism is a common expression for a horrifying climate. Literacy studies, on the other hand, are commonly used to explain the persecution of scholars and intellectuals against “speech crimes” or non-national writings in ancient China.

Government groups are also “extremely concerned” about the possibility of a new law in Hong Kong that “is at risk of being used to rule out media scrutiny and criticism of government policy and action.” Stated.

The Hong Kong government has been discussing the enforcement of the “fake news” law for several months after Carrie Lam, the leader of the Pro-Beijing Hong Kong, first took office. Suggestion February idea.She Repeated In her call in May, she said the law would be used to prevent “misinformation, hatred, lies.”

Epoch Times Photo
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will speak at a press conference in Hong Kong on June 22, 2021. (Bill Cox / The Epoch Times)

However, the proposed bill has received strong criticism from media groups, including: HKJA, Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong, And that International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

“The fake news law has become synonymous with government and public figures for genuine coverage that reveals information that some people don’t want to convey,” IFC said in May in response to Ram’s comment. Said.

The group called on the Chinese and Hong Kong governments to support press freedom “in line with China’s international legal obligations.”

With the exception of the United States, the joint statement was signed by Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Slovakia. , Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

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