Hong Kong journalist association representing some 500 journalists, has warned that the freedom of expression has deteriorated in the city and the territory has become intolerant of dissent as Beijing strengthened its grip, Media Guardian reported.
The former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, retains a semi-autonomous status under the “one country, two systems” model, which allows to retain civil liberties such as the press freedom that are not enjoyed in mainland China.
“There are now growing and disturbing signs that the ‘one-country’ element is overriding ‘two systems’, the Hong Kong journalists association said in its annual freedom of expression report.” This could have far-reaching implications for Hong Kong’s autonomy and one of its most fundamental rights – freedom of expression and press freedom.”
The journalists association group further said that, Beijing has “become more aggressive” in its policy towards Hong Kong and journalists are facing growing restrictions on reporting, especially in the coverage of public protests.” We are moving further and further away from an open and transparent society,” association chairwoman Mak Yin-ting told a news conference.” What we are more wary (of) is (that) the police have taken a tough line towards protests, where even reporters have been barred and human rights observers were pulled away from the scene,” AgenceFrancePresse reported.
Image: AFP, Mike Clarke