Explanation: The decline of press freedom in Hong Kong under the national security law
In January, chief executive Carrie Lam said Hong Kong authorities were “not seeking to clamp down on press freedom” after newsrooms closed, and – in April – she said the suppression by a club of their Human Rights Press Awards was an “isolated” incident. .
HKFP provides an update on incidents in the media industry since the National Security Law came into force.
- Reporters Without Borders said Hong Kong authorities used a draconian new security law to silence critical news outlets and jail journalists in its latest report as the city plummeted in an international ranking of the freedom of press.
- Hong Kong’s only presidential candidate, John Lee, compared freedom of the press to identity cards and said that “Hong Kong already has freedom of the press”.
- A senior Beijing official said the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” extends to the judiciary, the education sector and the media, in addition to civil servants.
- A senior official with no broadcasting experience took over as head of RTHK, where three senior executives resigned within two weeks.
- Hong Kong National Security Police have arrested a former top executive of Next Digital, the publisher of Apple Daily, for alleged fraud.
- RTHK took the last-minute decision to cancel a program featuring a panel discussion on Beijing’s plans for a sweeping election overhaul.
- The Hong Kong government has announced its decision to put Covid-19 press briefings online. He backtracked following criticism from a Hong Kong journalism watchdog.
- The police demanded Apple Daily turn over information about journalists who searched for registration plates of public vehicles.
- The police visited the newsrooms of Apple Daily, InMedia and StandNews with search warrants demanding documents relating to the primary election for LegCo in July 2020.
- RTHK chief Leung Ka-wing advised staff not to question the 55 Democrats arrested under the national security law for their alleged involvement in the primary.
- Three people convicted of rioting and assaulting a mainland journalist at the airport during anti-government protests in 2019 have been jailed for up to 5½ years.
- Bao Choy has pleaded not guilty to making false statements after obtaining vehicle registration information for a film about the 2019 Yuen Long mob attacks.
- The head of Hong Kong’s biggest police union has slammed public broadcaster RTHK for allegedly biased reporting on a weekend lockdown to tackle Covid-19.
- National Security Police raided Jimmy Lai’s private office.
- A district councilor has been given a suspended prison sentence for publicly identifying the police officer who allegedly shot an Indonesian journalist in the eye.
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