Media Freedom Coalition expresses concern over deteriorating media freedom in Hong Kong – JURIST


The Media Freedom Coalition (MFC) launched a statement on Friday calling consideration to media freedom in Hong Kong. The MFC is a partnership of fifty nations shaped in 2019 that advocates media freedom and the protection of journalists.

The assertion expresses the MFC’s deep concern on the “Hong Kong and mainland Chinese language authorities’ continued assaults on freedom of the press and their suppression of impartial native media in Hong Kong”. As per the assertion, the prosecution of media employees for sedition has elevated for the reason that imposition of the National Security Law in 2020, main many to self-censor. Moreover, the assertion mentioned, the usage of sedition legal guidelines to suppress journalism “undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy” and folks’s “rights as assured within the Primary Legislation”.

Friday marked the second anniversary of the closure of Stand Information, a  non-profit digital information outlet, following a nationwide safety police raid and arrest of seven of its members on suspicion of breaching the colonial-era Crimes Ordinance by “conspiring to publish seditious publications”. US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, condemned the arrests and closure and urged authorities to stop focusing on free and impartial media. The identical 12 months, pro-democracy tabloid Apple Each day additionally confronted raids and arrests, drawing comparable criticism from US and EU officers. In 2021, BBC World Information was banned following claims of significant violations of Chinese language guidelines and rules. In 2022, CitizenNews announced its closure attributable to issues for the protection of its reporters.

The Nationwide Safety Legislation has been internationally criticized for limiting autonomy and penalizing dissent. Huge protests in opposition to the Legislation culminated in crackdowns by police. For the reason that inception of the Legislation, Hong Kong’s rating on the Hong Kong Journalist’s Affiliation Press Freedom Index dropped 4 occasions in 4 consecutive years. The Hong Kong Watch opined in 2022 that the crackdown on media led to the near-eradication of press freedom within the area. In 2023, the Hong Kong Journalist Affiliation and Reporters With out Borders condemned the authorities’ harassment of journalists.

MFC additional referred to as on the Hong Kong and Chinese language authorities in its assertion to “abide by their worldwide human rights commitments” and to “protect Hong Kong’s excessive diploma of autonomy”.

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