Ever since a new round of pro-democracy protests broke out in Hong Kong last year, journalists from both local and global media have exposed how freedoms are shrinking, human rights are deteriorating and police brutality is worsening in the city.
Now, with new sweeping powers under the national security law that China promulgated for Hong Kong on June 30, the news media themselves are in the Chinese government’s cross hairs.
The publisher Jimmy Lai, whose media company puts out the popular tabloid Apple Daily, has long been one of Beijing’s most vocal critics in Hong Kong. Mr. Lai was arrested on Monday morning under the recent law, for allegedly colluding with foreign forces.… Seguir leyendo »
While the world is busy trying to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, Chinese authorities last week pulled credentials from journalists at three major media outlets: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and The Post. What is particularly shocking about this retaliatory move, after the Trump administration took action against several Chinese Communist Party-controlled outlets, is that for the first time, those foreign correspondents are also barred from reporting from Hong Kong and Macau.
This is an unprecedented decision. For decades, Hong Kong has long been known as a bastion of press freedom in the region. With protections by independent courts and civil liberties enshrined in Hong Kong’s Basic Law (equivalent to its Constitution), foreign media have been able to operate free from intervention from autocratic China.… Seguir leyendo »
“If we burn, you burn with us.” A famous line in the movie “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” has been given a new life in Hong Kong’s summerlong protests: It has come to represent the spirit unleashed by hundreds of thousands of protesters. As many commentators have pointed out, the massive, leaderless resistance movement here is a critical front-line battle against the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party in Beijing. A dictatorial party facing domestic and global pressures — especially from the ongoing trade negotiations with the United States — the C.C.P. is getting impatient, apparently. On Friday, it targeted leading activists and politicians in Hong Kong with a round of arrests, possibly signaling that a broader crackdown may be around the corner.… Seguir leyendo »
The Lantos Human Rights Prize is intended to serve as a beacon of hope, justice and human decency in a world too often covered in a shroud of darkness. Named after the late U.S. congressman Tom Lantos, who co-founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in 1983, it aspires to honor those who uphold human rights as a global priority, including towering figures such as the Dalai Lama and Elie Wiesel. For that reason, I am deeply honored to be given the award this year.
Yet I can’t help but feel that Lantos would be saddened to see the dire situation facing Hong Kong in the aftermath of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in which I and so many others participated.… Seguir leyendo »
The selection in March of the Beijing loyalist Carrie Lam as Hong Kong’s next leader is the latest sign that China will continue to tighten its grip on this city. Political divisions will deepen and mistrust of the government will rise.
Ms. Lam, who was picked to be chief executive by an election committee stacked in Beijing’s favor, has long taken a hard-line approach to suppressing dissent. As the former No. 2 official under the unpopular outgoing leader, Leung Chun-ying, she presided over the political reform process that ignited the Umbrella Movement of 2014, in which tens of thousands of Hong Kongers occupied major thoroughfares for three months demanding democratic rights.… Seguir leyendo »
Tuesday night marked one month since the day Hong Kong’s police attacked peaceful pro-democracy protesters with tear gas and pepper spray, inadvertently inspiring thousands more people to occupy the streets for the right to freely elect Hong Kong’s leaders.
I was being detained by the police on that day, Sept. 28, for having participated in a student-led act of civil disobedience in front of the government’s headquarters. I was held for 46 hours, cut off from the outside world. When I was released, I was deeply touched to see thousands of people in the streets, rallying for democracy. I knew then that the city had changed forever.… Seguir leyendo »