Media Freedom Coalition Condemns Closure of Media Outlets in Hong Kong

Stop killing journalists. Photo: UNESCO
Stop killing journalists. Photo: UNESCO

A stable and prosperous Hong Kong in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are protected should be in everybody’s interest.

The members of the Media Freedom Coalition (MFC) express their deep concern at the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese authorities’ attacks on freedom of the press and their suppression of independent local media in Hong Kong.

Recent developments include the raid of Stand News offices, the arrests of its staff, and the subsequent self-closure of Citizen News, stemming from concern over the safety of its staff. Since the enactment of the National Security Law in June 2020, authorities have targeted and suppressed independent media in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 

According to MFC, this has eroded the protected rights and freedoms set out in the Basic Law and undermines China’s obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. This has also caused the near-complete disappearance of local independent media outlets in Hong Kong.

Attacks on Journalists

Today, there is no organization in the world that is working effectively to protect journalists from state excesses and police brutality. Although UNESCO and other UN agencies keep releasing loose statements and random reports about media freedom, they too have failed miserably to protect journalists in different countries.

Similarly, the NGOs such as Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and various journalists’ associations – that claim to be working for press freedom and protection of journalists – mostly exist to collect huge donations and funds for their shady operations.

While these so-called protectors of press freedom are not doing any tangible work to protect journalists, they operate only as secondary news outlets. They lift news from here and there about attacks on journalists and simply publish it under their own banners on their websites or issue casual condemnation statements. They cannot influence and change the brutal decisions of the authorities that are unleashing terror on journalists. ~ Rakesh Raman

In a statement released on February 7, the MFC asserts that these ongoing actions further undermine confidence in Hong Kong’s international reputation through the suppression of human rights, freedom of speech and free flow and exchange of opinions and information.

A stable and prosperous Hong Kong in which human rights and fundamental freedoms are protected should be in everybody’s interest. “We urge Hong Kong and mainland Chinese authorities to respect freedom of the press and freedom of speech in Hong Kong, in line with the Basic Law and China’s obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration,” the MFC members said.

The MFC statement was signed by the Governments of Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States.

Support RMN News Service for Independent Fearless Journalism

In today’s media world controlled by corporates and politicians, it is extremely difficult for independent editorial voices to survive. Raman Media Network (RMN) News Service has been maintaining editorial freedom and offering objective content for the past more than 12 years despite enormous pressures and extreme threats. In order to serve you fearlessly in this cut-throat world, RMN News Service urges you to support us financially with your donations. You may please click here and choose the amount that you want to donate. Thank You. Rakesh Raman, Editor, RMN News Service.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman