HK’s expulsion of a British editor is a blow to its freedoms

13-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Economist | 6:00 AM Print This Post

“IT IS not like he is getting executed,” wrote a columnist for Ta Kung Pao, a leading newspaper in Hong Kong with close links to the Chinese Communist Party. The writer was referring to Victor Mallet, a Hong Kong-based editor of the Financial Times whose application to renew his work visa, which expired earlier this month, was rejected by the territory’s immigration department. China has a long history of showing the door to adventurous foreign correspondents. But this is the first time that Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous territory, has forced a resident foreign journalist to leave. Mallet has until October 14th to do so.

The pro-Communist press aside, many in Hong Kong as well as elsewhere are worried by what the territory’s treatment of Mallet portends. The European Union, Britain and Canada have weighed in on his behalf. America’s chamber of commerce in Hong Kong said any effort to curtail press freedom in the territory could damage its business competitiveness. On October 10th, as Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, was about to deliver her annual policy address to the Legislative Council, several pro-democracy lawmakers walked out in protest, holding placards saying “Free press” and “No persecution”.


Category: Hong Kong

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