Hong Kong: Banning of political party marks serious escalation of political repression

Tiny Hong Kong National Party is being used as a test case for a wider political crackdown

By Socialist Action Reporters

This article first appeared in Chinaworker.info on 19 July 2018
Link to original article: HERE

Hong Kong’s government has for the first time moved to ban a political party, as the Beijing-driven political crackdown in the territory widens. On 17 July, the Security Bureau served notice

Continue reading “Hong Kong: Banning of political party marks serious escalation of political repression”

Hong Kong Freedoms Rapidly Deteriorating, Warns HRW

By Eurasia Review

This article first appeared in eurasiareview 28 Jun 2018
Link to original article:  HERE

Hong Kong’s protection of civil and political rights is deteriorating at a quickening pace, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam. July 1, 2018, is the 21st anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer from British to Chinese control. Continue reading “Hong Kong Freedoms Rapidly Deteriorating, Warns HRW”

Hong Kong Gives Mainland Police Sway in New Train Station

By Austin Ramsy

This article first appeared in The New York Times 15 Jun 2018
Link to original article:  HERE

HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s legislature approved a contentious plan late Thursday to allow mainland Chinese police officers to operate in a section of a new train station scheduled to open this year.

Continue reading “Hong Kong Gives Mainland Police Sway in New Train Station”

HKJA: National anthem bill does not conform with Basic Law

By ejinsight

This article first appeared in ejinsight.com on 20 June 2018
Link to original article:  HERE

The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) expressed strong opposition to a draft of the national anthem law proposed by the Hong Kong government, saying it can restrict freedom of expression and does not conform with the Basic Law.

In its submission on the draft of the bill, the HKJA said the proposal does not clearly stipulate the legal responsibilities media outlets might have to assume when they publish acts that are considered insulting to the national anthem, the March of the Volunteers, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

As such, the bill fails to offer media outlets the protection that they need to be immune to prosecution when carrying out their responsibilities, the HKJA said.

The law took effect on Oct. 1 in mainland China. The SAR government aims to finish the first reading of the bill in July before the summer recess begins.

If the draft is passed, media outlets would be unable to assess if their reports are breaking the law since there are no precedents on what constitutes insulting or derogating the national anthem.

In that case, some would most likely refrain from publishing related stories, which in turn will create a chilling effect that works against free expression, the HKJA said.

The association also criticized the draft for not complying with Article 39 of the Basic Law, which provides that “[t]he provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international labour conventions as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force and shall be implemented through the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”.

On Nov. 4 last year, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed a proposal to add the new law to Annex III of the Basic Law, which requires Hong Kong to legislate its version of the law and implement it.

The HKJA said some of the punishments listed in the draft are heavier than those implemented in the mainland.

According to the association, one who, in a public venue, deliberately alters the lyrics or the score of the national anthem, or performs or sings the national anthem in a distorted or derogatory manner, or insults the national anthem in any other manner can receive a warning or be detained for up to 15 days by public security departments.

But a person convicted for a similar violation in Hong Kong, as suggested by the bill, may face a fine of up to HK$50,000 and three years imprisonment.

China Shuts Down Comedy Streaming Channel Over ‘Insult’ to War Hero

By Yang Fan

This article first appeared in Radio Free Asia on 18 May 2018
Link to original article: HERE

China’s internet regulator on Thursday shut down the account of a popular comedy streaming channel for “dishonoring” the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s revolutionary heroes and martyrs, official media reported. Continue reading “China Shuts Down Comedy Streaming Channel Over ‘Insult’ to War Hero”

International solidarity actions with Hong Kong democracy struggle

Chinaworker.info

Protests in 25 cities around the world on May 4 against attacks on democratic rights

By Stop Repression in Hong Kong

May 4, 99 years after the historic 1919 movement for democracy and modernisation in China, was the date of international solidarity demonstrations organised by the international campaign, Stop Repression in Hong Kong. The demands of the protesters were against manipulation of elections and banning of candidates in Hong Kong, Continue reading “International solidarity actions with Hong Kong democracy struggle”

A Decade of Decline: IFJ launches 10th China Press Freedom Report

ifex:International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

This statement was originally published on ifj.org on 2 February 2018.

Today, the International Federation of Journalists launches the 10th edition of its annual China Press Freedom Report for 2017, entitled Ten-Year Edition: A Decade of Decline.

The IFJ China Press Freedom project has been the key monitoring and advocacy voice for journalists and media workers in China as well as Continue reading “A Decade of Decline: IFJ launches 10th China Press Freedom Report”

Freedom of Expression ‘Under Attack’ in Hong Kong As Democracy Activists Targeted: Report

RFA:Wong Lok-to

The London-based rights group Amnesty International on Thursday raised concerns over continued attacks on Hong Kong’s traditional freedoms, as the ruling Chinese Communist Party takes a more hands-on approach to the former British colony.

“Freedom of expression in Hong Kong came under attack as the Continue reading “Freedom of Expression ‘Under Attack’ in Hong Kong As Democracy Activists Targeted: Report”

Academic freedom at risk at Hong Kong’s universities, says report

Report says freedom has deteriorated so much that independent monitoring groups should be established

The Guardian:Benjamin Hass

Hong Kong’s universities, long a beacon of academic freedom, bastions of freewheeling activism and discussion, are under threat and risk losing their internationally respected status, according to a report.

Universities are increasingly limiting freedom of expression, Continue reading “Academic freedom at risk at Hong Kong’s universities, says report”