The Chinese noose is tightening further on Hong Kong. Kenneth Roth, director of the New York-based international human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), was refused entry to the territory of the Hong Kong autonomous region on Sunday, January 12 . Invoking "Reasons related to immigration", the Hong Kong authorities have not given further details on the reasons for his deportation.
Monday, January 13, we learned that it was directly the Chinese authorities in Beijing, through the voice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who refused his entry into Hong Kong, saying that the organization had encouraged the demonstrators for months and should "Pay the price".
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Political freedoms reduced in Hong Kong under pressure from Beijing
Kenneth Roth was to present the HRW annual report, highlighting multiple human rights abuses in China and Hong Kong this year. "I had hoped to be able to shed light on the increasingly strong attacks carried out by Beijing against international efforts to support human rights"said Kenneth Roth in a statement. "This refusal to let me enter Hong Kong is a vivid illustration of this."
This ban sounds like a very serious warning from Beijing to non-governmental organizations based in Hong Kong (HRW, Amnesty International, China Labor…). Almost 23 years after the handover of Hong Kong to China (1997), individual and political freedoms have been steadily curtailed, but NGOs have always been able to work locally, albeit knowing they are very much under the control of the authorities.
Alarm bell for all Hong Kong-based NGOs
On the Chinese mainland, several international NGOs have had to pack up, while many Chinese NGOs (environment, justice, human rights, lawyers, religion) have been banned for years and many of their officials thrown in prison.
It seems very clear that Beijing now wants to impose the same rules for NGOs based in Hong Kong. "It is the sovereign right of China to authorize or not the entry of a person on its territory", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in Beijing on Monday (January 13th), failing to recall that in the Sino-British agreement signed in 1984 between London and Beijing, a large degree of autonomy was granted to Hong Kong for 50 years, that is, until 2047.
Beijing regularly accuses entities, organizations, associations, research centers and even governments, notably the United States, of adding fuel to the fire in Hong Kong by publicly supporting the demonstrators or by receiving certain figures from the movement.
For example, a meeting in a hotel lobby in Hong Kong in early August between young leader Joshua Wong and a political advisor to the US consulate had been used by Chinese propaganda as evidence of collusion and direct aid from Washington to Hong Kong protesters.
By expelling Kenneth Roth on Sunday, January 12, Beijing is again using this ploy to show that outside powers are interfering in Chinese internal affairs and aim to destabilize Chinese power.
"Countless facts and evidence show that this NGO, by various means, supports individuals guilty of anti-China actions and is causing disorder in Hong Kong" said the Chinese spokesman again on Monday. " She bears a heavy responsibility in the chaotic situation in which Hong Kong finds itself today. This type of organization deserves to be sanctioned. They have to pay the price. "
It is therefore clearly a punishment against HRW, which echoes Chinese threats of sanctions in early December against American NGOs, in retaliation for the passing of a law in Congress supporting the Hong Kong protesters.
In recent years, many academics, researchers, politicians and journalists critical of Beijing’s politics have been banned from entering Hong Kong. Chinese pressure is not going to ease.
. (tagsToTranslate) Hong Kong (t) China (t) Oceania (t) prohibited (t) director (t) entry (t) Rights (t) Human (t) Watch