Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) together with a number of journalist unions and media organisations jointly sent a letter to the Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu requesting a meeting to discuss the proposed amendments to the fugitive laws, over which the media have expressed grave concern.
The Bureau replied saying the Secretary for Security is unable to allocate time to meet with the media and journalist representatives. The letter gave the reasons that the Secretary is now working under very tight time constraints to assist in the Legislative Council’s examination of the bill, and it is expected that meetings will be held frequently.
HKJA regrets the refusal of Secretary for Security to meet with journalist groups to discuss the fugitives transfer bill, while holding meetings with the commercial sector on that topic. We understand that Mr Lee has been meeting with at least nine commerce chambers and political parties in recent months, discussing issues surrounding the fugitives transfer bill and listened to their views. We understand Mr Lee has a busy schedule and is unable to meet with journalist unions and media organsiations. However, if the whole Security Bureau could not even send a representative to meet with journalist unions, one cannot help feeling that the Bureau disregards the concerns and requests of the media profession.
The amendments to the fugitive laws would affect not only the media industry and the commercial sector, but will also bring long lasting impact to the whole of Hong Kong. We are concerned that these amendments, if enacted, will muzzle both journalists and whistleblowers, dealing a further blow to the already limited freedom of speech that Hong Kong still enjoys.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
3 May 2019