The Hong Kong Journalists Association notes with deep concern the claims by dismissed Commercial Radio talk-show host Ms Li Wei-ling that press freedom in Hong Kong is under serious threat. We demand, in the strongest terms, that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, as the highest authority in this city, to scrupulously keep to his word made during his election to ensure the government and all public bodies will safeguard press freedom and freedom of speech as laid down in the Basic Law.
Our renewed concern comes in the wake of claims by former Commercial Radio talk-show host Ms Li Wei-ling that her recent dismissal underscored the serious threat to press freedom and freedom of speech from the government headed by Mr Leung.
She described her dismissal as representing a “kneeling down” by the broadcaster to ease the way for renewal of its licence. In view of recent events occurring in the media industry HKJA is concerned that a “crackdown” on the media is underway.
Ms Li’s statement was made at a press conference held at the HKJA today.
HKJA, therefore, urges the Communications Authority, in accordance with Chapter 562, Section 25 of the Broadcasting Ordinance, to examine if Commercial Radio has complied with stipulations required for its licence.
HKJA also notes Ms Li’s claims that the management of the Commercial Radio has repeatedly obstructed her work on the pretext of reviewing, participating in the programme, etc, in order to influence her presentation style. HKJA urges Commercial Radio to uphold its responsibilities as a public entity and stay firm under pressure. HKJA and the community will stand by media organizations which firmly safeguard the freedom of speech and press freedom.
HKJA reiterates that our organisation and every local media worker is duty-bound to safeguard press freedom and freedom of speech, and will not bow to any threats.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
13th February 2014