Hong Kong journalist teams have expressed dismay over the federal government’s refusal to resume a piece visa for a Monetary Occasions editor.
Representatives from the Hong Kong Overseas Correspondents’ Membership, Hong Kong Reporters Affiliation and different journalism advocacy teams collected on the Central Executive Places of work on Monday and passed a letter of protest to a Hong Kong Executive consultant.
“We’re surprised and deeply involved over the verdict via the Hong Kong government to refuse a piece visa renewal for Victor Mallet, Asia Information Editor for the Monetary Occasions,” mentioned Chris Yeung of the Hong Kong Reporters Affiliation.
He mentioned the denial of a visa to Mallet “units a horrible precedent for Hong Kong’s recognition as a spot the place the guideline of regulation applies and the place freedom of speech is secure via regulation.”
China has defended its choice to disclaim a brand new paintings visa for Mallet, who’s vice chairman of the Overseas Correspondent’s Membership. Government have criticized the membership for web hosting a chat in August via the chief of a now-banned pro-Hong Kong independence birthday celebration.
Hong Kong was once promised semi-autonomy for 50 years as a part of its 1997 handover from British rule, permitting it to retain its restricted democracy and rights to meeting and unfastened speech which might be denied at the Chinese language mainland.
Rights teams have known as the visa rejection the newest signal of Beijing’s increasing restrictions at the territory, together with criminal instances introduced in opposition to pro-democracy legislators and organizers of large-scale anti-government protests in 2014.
The London-based Monetary Occasions mentioned in a commentary that it was once given no explanation why Mallet’s utility was once rejected.
Different teams that protested the verdict incorporated the Hong Kong Impartial Commentators Affiliation, Global Federation of Journalist, Hong Kong Journalism Educators for Press Freedom and Journalists With out Borders.
The Overseas Correspondent’s Membership is an establishment courting again greater than 75 years in the past to when Hong Kong was once a British colony.
On the Aug. 14 communicate on the FCC, Mallet offered Hong Kong Nationwide Birthday celebration chief Andy Chan via acknowledging reliable grievance whilst bringing up the territory’s tolerance for dissent.