Hong Kong Carrie Lam: Media closure has nothing to do with freedom of the press

HONG KONG — Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam It was stated on Tuesday that the recent closure of two media in the city does not indicate a decline in press freedom, as these decisions were made by the media themselves.

she Nearly a week after the authorities arrested seven people associated with the pro-democracy online news site Stand News on suspicion of inciting rebellion, the media subsequently announced that it would cease operations. A few days later, another online website, Citizen News, also said it would cease operations.

“For any media, we have not done anything. Law enforcement agencies have never contacted them,” blue Said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“But if they decide to stop operations out of their own concerns, I think it’s nothing unusual.” she He added that the Hong Kong authorities “do not seek to crack down on press freedom.”

blue Said that the government abides by the rule of law in Hong Kong, when she Took office for the first time, she Open government press conferences online and meet with the Hong Kong Journalists Association.

In response to allegations that the closure of online media means the “extinction” of freedom of the press in Hong Kong, blue Say she “Can’t accept that accusation.”

“Nothing is more important than the rule of law,” she Say. she He also stated that as long as the news media do not engage in illegal activities, they can continue to report news in Hong Kong.

she Said that since the full implementation of the National Security Law in June 2020, the number of local news media registered in the city has increased by 5.4%, and overseas media has increased by 9.4%.

“So you can’t say that press freedom has been eroded by the closure of the two media,” blue Say.

Since the security law came into effect, more than one hundred people have been arrested, including many democracy activists and some reporters who previously worked for the now-defunct Apple Daily and Stance News.

On Tuesday, pro-democracy activist Zhou Hengdong was sentenced to 15 months in prison for inciting people to join a banned movement. The vigil last year was to commemorate the suppression of democratic demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.

She was told to serve another 10 months in addition to the current 12-month sentence because her role in the 2020 vigil was also banned.

Respectively, blue The city will tighten vaccine requirements to cover not only entertainment venues, but also libraries, schools, and museums.

The requirements will be tightened from February 24, and people who enter such places will be required to receive at least one dose of the vaccine against COVID-19.

A few days ago, Hong Kong reported the first omicron COVID-19 cluster. The cluster was related to several Cathay Pacific crew members who violated the quarantine regulations and visited restaurants and bars throughout the city. The test was positive.

Through strict quarantine regulations, the city has largely prevented the delta variant from causing local outbreaks. Hong Kong currently designates all countries where the omicron epidemic has broken out as “high-risk” countries, and requires immigrants from these countries to be quarantined for 21 days.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

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