China lashes out at press freedom survey in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (AP) — China on Friday criticized a press freedom survey from the Hong Kong International Correspondents’ Membership that discovered practically half its members have been contemplating leaving the town.

The survey stated the members have been involved a few decline in press freedoms beneath a sweeping nationwide safety legislation imposed by Beijing following huge anti-government protests in 2019.

Eighty-three of the 99 journalists polled stated that the working atmosphere had “modified for the more serious” because the legislation was launched final June. The legislation outlaws subversion, secession, terrorism and international collusion to intervene within the metropolis’s affairs, and has since been used to arrest over 120 folks within the semi-autonomous Chinese language metropolis.

“These outcomes clearly present that assurances that Hong Kong nonetheless enjoys press freedom, assured beneath the Primary Regulation, will not be sufficient,” FCC President Keith Richburg stated. “Extra steps should be taken to revive confidence amongst journalists and to verify Hong Kong maintains its decades-long popularity as a welcoming place for the worldwide media.”

In a press release, the Commissioner’s Workplace of China’s International Ministry in Hong Kong warned the FCC to cease making “noise” and accused the group of being “black arms” that intervene within the metropolis’s affairs.

“There isn’t any absolute press freedom on the earth that’s above the legislation,” the assertion learn. “It’s a frequent worldwide follow for nations to oversee the news media working in their very own nations in accordance with the legislation.”

The survey comes as authorities are cracking down on political dissent in Hong Kong. A lot of the metropolis’s outstanding pro-democracy activists are at the moment in jail. Critics say the safety legislation has rolled again freedoms promised to Hong Kong for 50 years when it was handed over to China in 1997.

The previous British colony was beforehand recognized for its vibrant press freedoms, and for many years has served as regional headquarters for a lot of English-language news shops.

The nationwide safety legislation has been used in opposition to journalists within the metropolis. The professional-democracy newspaper Apple Every day was pressured to shut in June after hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in belongings have been frozen and a number of other high editors and executives arrested.

The New York Instances has transferred a few of its employees from Hong Kong to Seoul because of the uncertainties in regards to the metropolis’s prospects for journalism beneath the safety laws.

China’s International Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated Friday at an everyday news briefing that the rights of international media and journalists in Hong Kong shall be “absolutely protected” so long as they report in accordance with the legislation.

Wang stated that as of April this 12 months, there have been 628 international workers with work visas for international media in Hong Kong, a 18.5% improve from the identical time final 12 months.

“It’s a true reflection of how folks from all walks of life, together with international media in Hong Kong, see and really feel in regards to the financial and social and media reporting atmosphere in Hong Kong,” he stated. | China lashes out at press freedom survey in Hong Kong


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