The Hong Kong Journalists Association is shocked by the Hong Kong Government’s refusal of the application for a renewal of the working visa of veteran journalist Victor Mallet, who is also the First Vice President of Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC).
We called on the government to give an explanation of their decision, which is rare, if not unprecedented. The government’s move has raised concern over whether it is because of Mr Mallet’s involvement in the luncheon talk by Andy Chan Ho-tin, Convenor of the Hong Kong National Party, hosted by FCC in August. Mr Mallet has not only chaired the talk but also confirmed to the media that the Office of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong had put pressure on FCC to reconsider hosting the event.
Mr Mallet has been working as Asia News Editor at the Hong Kong office of Financial Times since 2016. The Financial Times confirmed that this is the first time they have encountered that situation in Hong Kong.
HKJA believes that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are the cornerstones of Hong Kong’s success. We urged the Government to reconsider and explain their decision. If left unexplained, it will give rise to worries that it is an act of reprisal against Mr Mallet, further undermining public confidence in freedom of speech and the press promised by the Basic Law.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
5 October 2018