The Foreign Press Club of Hong Kong has suspended the awarding of prizes for the defense of human rights, for fear of being the target of prosecution and persecution.
The hardening of government measures, self-censorship, and physical threats against journalists are leaving press freedom in Hong Kong in a “terrible state”, considered the association Hong Kong Watch, in a report, released this Tuesday.
According to the association, based in the United Kingdom, Western countries must defend journalists from the former British colony, namely by offering them visas and opportunities for programs in Cantonese.
The release of the report came a day after the Foreign Press Club of Hong Kong suspended the awarding of prizes for the defense of human rights, for fear of being the target of prosecution and persecution.
“Another serious blow to the freedom of the press,” said the head of Hong Kong Watch, Benedict Rogers, in a statement.
“It’s never been more dangerous to be a journalist in Hong Kong,” added Rogers, who was also threatened with prosecution under national security law.
According to the association, the governments of Hong Kong and China are “dismantling press freedom in Hong Kong”, in particular through the national security law.
Imposed by Beijing in June 2020, this law aims to sanction acts considered to be secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign powers, among other infractions.
“The situation of press freedom in Hong Kong is dire,” the organization said in the report, adding that “the international community cannot let those responsible for violations [of these rights] get away with impunity.”
Source: with agencies