The legislation imposed by China intends to make journalists tiptoe around ill-defined red lines. The need to hold power to account is growingBeijing’s far-reaching security law was foisted on Hong Kong with breathtaking speed, sweeping aside guarantees of freedom of expression and freedom of the press overnight. Analogies of slow-boiling frogs and civil liberties suffering a “death by a thousand cuts” now feel redundant as independent media outlets scramble to future-proof themselves against vaguely worded legislation that carries a punishment of life imprisonment for crimes such as “subversion” and “collusion.”I founded Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) as a response to dwindling press freedoms after cutting my teeth reporting on the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement. As a non-profit, it was the city’s first crowdfunded outlet – transparent, impartial, governed by an ethical code and built to resist censorship. But it was all based on the free press guarantees in the city’s mini-constitution. Continue reading...
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China's 'purification' of classrooms: A new law erases history, silences teachers and rewrites books
China's crackdown on Hong Kong is purging teachers, rewriting textbooks and increasing pressure on schools over...China's crackdown on Hong Kong is purging teachers, rewriting textbooks and increasing pressure on schools over what to put in the minds of students. A new national security law has endangered freedom of thought and expression.
Irish journalist Aaron McNicholas’s visa was rejected in what’s believed to the first such case at...Irish journalist Aaron McNicholas’s visa was rejected in what’s believed to the first such case at a local titleAfter months of reassurance that Beijing’s national security law would not affect Hong Kong’s free press, the government has denied a visa to local media outlet, the Hong Kong Free Press.The English-language outlet had sought to employ a new editor, Aaron Mc Nicholas, an Irish journalist already based in Hong Kong. However the immigration department rejected an application to transfer his work visa after an almost six-month wait, without giving an official reason. Continue reading...
Fears Beijing would export its strict control of the media to Hong Kong have been borne...Fears Beijing would export its strict control of the media to Hong Kong have been borne out by arrest of pro-democracy media mogul and raid on his paperHong Kong rallies around Apple Daily after arrest of founder Jimmy Lai On Monday when Zoe*, a local news reporter at Apple Daily returned to her office in Hong Kong it was swarming with police officers. Her boss, the strident pro-democracy activist, media mogul and billionaire Jimmy Lai, was in handcuffs as police led him through the newsroom.Cordons were set up blocking journalists from their desks as police rifled through papers and packed 25 boxes of documents for further investigation. Zoe was ordered to tell the police her home address and phone number and the section of the paper that she worked on. For hours, staffers were followed wherever they went in the building, even to the toilet. She was told not to report on the raid. Continue reading...