The undersigned members of the Media Freedom Coalition, on February 8, express their deep concern at the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese authorities’ attacks on freedom of the press and their suppression of independent local media in Hong Kong.
Recent developments include the raid of Stand News offices, the arrests of its staff, and the subsequent self-closure of Citizen News, stemming from concern over the safety of its staff.
Since the enactment of the National Security Law in June 2020, authorities have targeted and suppressed independent media in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. This has eroded the protected rights and freedoms set out in the Basic Law and undermines China’s obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
This has also caused the near-complete disappearance of local independent media outlets in Hong Kong. These ongoing actions further undermine confidence in Hong Kong’s international reputation through the suppression of human rights, freedom of speech and free flow and exchange of opinions and information.
A stable and prosperous Hong Kong in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are protected should be in everybody’s interest. We urge Hong Kong and mainland Chinese authorities to respect freedom of the press and freedom of speech in Hong Kong, in line with the Basic Law and China’s obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
Signed by the Governments of Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States.