fredag 11. februar 2022

Hong Kong democracy and media freedom has ‘entered endgame’

The fight for democracy and media freedom in Hong Kong feels like it has “entered its endgame”, after a year of crackdowns, arrests and forced closures of outlets, the International Federation for Journalists has said.

In a report on the ongoing threats to the press in Hong Kong, titled Lights Out, the IFJ called on governments to offer support and pathways for Hong Kong journalists seeking to flee the city and find refuge to keep working. It noted “a clear and documented exodus and closure of both local and international media outlets, journalists and media workers that once earned Hong Kong a reputation as a bastion for media excellence in the Asia region”.

About 20 media workers, executives and defenders have been arrested or detained since the implementation of the national security law in June 2020, including high-profile figures such as the Apple Daily founder, Jimmy Lai. In newly published letters from prison, the media mogul and activist said he feared the crackdown would eventually turn Hong Kong into “a cage, like Xinjiang”, where China is accused of incarcerating at least 1 million mostly Muslim minorities and other human rights abuses.