The Hong Kong Journalists Association finds it is incredible that Chief Secretary Carrie Lam says press freedom in Hong Kong has not deteriorated. She went on to claim at a forum that while there have been expressions of concern overseas about the Hong Kong situation, she could find no concrete examples to support this allegation.
HKJA totally disagrees with her and reiterates once more that since the beginning of C Y Leung’s administration four years ago HKJA has been highlighting specific incidents of curbs on the Hong Kong media. On World Press Freedom Day on May 3 HKJA issued a press release specifically highlighting 10 incidents relating to this loss of freedom. These incidents relate to:
1. The issuing of a solicitor’ s letter to Joseph Lian, a journalist, pertaining to his expression of views.
2. Naming and criticizing “The Undergrad”, the HKUSU’s publication, for its views on the political situation.
3.Not naming but criticizing a press article in relation to Franklin Lam Fan-Keung and Barry Cheung Chun-Yuen’s work as anti-intellectualism.
4.Criticizing “Next Magazine” for so-called “stalking” of C Y Leung’s daughter.
5.Government officials resorting to more frequent blogging instead of meeting face to face with journalists.
6. Resorting to issuing press releases at midnight to avoid facing questioning by reporters.
7. Taking no action when reporters are abused by the police.
8. Paying no attention to the problems at ATV which only enhanced the dominant position of TVB
9. Taking no step to implement freedom of information legislation.
10. Not keeping pace with media developments by depriving online media any right to interview officials.
A survey by HKJA suggested that The Hong Kong Press Freedom Index had not performed well, declining ever since its establishment three years ago. It is quite a pity that Carrie Lam, ranked as second-highest official in Leung’s Government, is turning a blind eye to what the government has done by making the above remarks .
On the other hand, Lam stressed online media is now emerging and booming, demonatrating freedom of press is not affected. HKJA refuted this by pointing out that online media is banned from covering the government press conferences and other activities as they are barred from entry into venues where media is normally allowed. Ms Lam’s statement has only served to underscore the absurdity of her views.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
2 July 2016