HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s safety chief referred to as on Wednesday for the town’s fundamental press affiliation to speak in confidence to the general public who its members work for and what number of of them are college students, a day after he accused the group of infiltrating faculties.
The feedback by Secretary for Security Chris Tang are prone to deepen concern over a crackdown on civil society within the Asian monetary hub after Beijing imposed a sweeping nationwide safety legislation on the previous British colony final 12 months.
Tang, in an interview with the pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao printed on Tuesday, mentioned the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association (HKJA), was infiltrating faculties to recruit college students as journalists.
The HKJA, responding to Tang, didn’t particularly point out the infiltration accusation however mentioned that as of Wednesday it had 486 members and 56 of them have been college students. It doesn’t disclose who its members work for.
Political Cartoons on World Leaders
Tang defended his feedback on Wednesday saying he was conveying “doubts held by many in society” in regards to the press affiliation.
“I consider if they freely let the general public know the data, it is going to clear their title,” Tang instructed reporters exterior the town’s Legislative Council, referring to particulars about who the HKJA members work for.
The media trade has seen profound modifications since Beijing imposed the safety legislation final 12 months.
Media tycoon Jimmy Lai, a staunch critic of Beijing, is in jail and awaiting trial on nationwide safety fees. His pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily closed following police raids and the arrest of executives together with its chief editor.
Scores of civic teams and opposition events have disbanded or scaled again operations over the previous 12 months, whereas a few of their members have been arrested and jailed.
The Professional Teachers’ Union, Hong Kong’s largest, disbanded this month after it was criticised by Chinese state media for “politicising” training.
The safety legislation, imposed after months of at occasions violent pro-democracy protests, punishes what Beijing broadly refers to as subversion, secession, collusion with international forces and terrorism with up to life in jail.
The Hong Kong authorities has repeatedly mentioned the legislation is just aimed toward a tiny group of “troublemakers” and all legislation enforcement actions towards people or teams “don’t have anything to do with their political stance or background”.
Hong Kong’s once-thriving media sector and vibrant civil society have lengthy been options of the town that returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with a promise of wide-ranging freedoms not assured on the mainland.
(Reporting By Sara Cheng; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Robert Birsel)
Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.