Authorities in Hong Kong are researching proposed new laws banning “pretend information,” amid an ongoing crackdown on public dissent and peaceable political opposition beneath a nationwide safety regulation imposed on the town by the ruling Chinese language Communist Celebration (CCP).
“There have been 5 areas [in] which we might want to have a look at laws … it is not nearly [a] pretend information regulation, it is [also] about privateness and so forth,” chief govt Carrie Lam advised journalists on Tuesday.
“The pretend information regulation wants quite a lot of analysis, particularly how abroad governments are tackling [this] more and more worrying pattern of spreading inaccurate info, misinformation, hatred and lies on the social media,” Lam stated.
She stated officers “[are] trying into abroad practices and doing analysis.”
“We’ve no timetable in any way about this topic however we are going to proceed to be very severe about doing this problem due to the harm it’s doing to many individuals,” Lam stated.
Authorities in Hong Kong, together with the police, have repeatedly dismissed experiences criticizing police violence and the city-wide crackdown on dissent as “pretend information,” with state-run Chinese language media claiming that such experiences are a part of an try to undermine their authority by hostile overseas powers.
Lam additionally denied that her authorities had ordered public broadcaster RTHK to imagine a brand new function following the ouster of the director of broadcasting, the deletion of vital programming from on-line platforms, and the firing and punishment of vital journalists in latest weeks.
“No person has given RHTK a brand new function,” Lam stated. “RTHK has been performing the function of a public broadcaster and it ought to proceed to carry out that function correctly as a public broadcaster, which [means] being goal, honest, and [supporting] the Hong Kong Particular Administrative Area [government].”
Her feedback got here a day after RTHK, a authorities division that had loved editorial independence earlier than a draconian nationwide safety regulation banned criticism of the authorities, stated it would not renew the short-term contract of Nabela Qoser after her hard-hitting questioning of metropolis officers throughout the 2019 protest motion.
Administration had earlier terminated the everlasting civil service contract of TV present affairs anchor Qoser, in a transfer that was extensively condemned as political interference within the media.
RTHK was later criticized by police commissioner Chris Tang over its reporting of police violence throughout the protests, and a subsequent authorities investigation discovered “deficiencies” within the working of the station.
The federal government in February introduced adjustments to the editorial chain-of-command, changing the director of broadcasting and reforming RTHK’s editorial construction to “guarantee it complies” with authorities directives.
Profession bureaucrat Patrick Li took over from Leung Ka-wing as editor-in-chief from March 1.
On Could 3, the station reported that Hong Kong individuals have been speeding to avoid wasting copies of its packages because the station started eradicating copies of its older packages from the web.
Lam declined to touch upon the termination of Qoser’s contract or the deletion of RTHK content material.
‘Large decline in freedom’
The Washington-based think-tank Freedom Home stated in its annual report that China had “run roughshod” over Hong Kong’s democratic establishments and worldwide treaties on its governance after the 1997 handover.
“The territory has suffered a large decline in freedom since 2013, with an particularly steep drop since mass prodemocracy demonstrations have been suppressed in 2019 and Beijing tightened its grip in 2020,” the report stated.
It stated the nationwide safety regulation had “erased nearly in a single day lots of Hong Kong’s remaining liberties, bringing it into nearer alignment with the system on the mainland.”
It stated the arrests of dozens of pro-democracy activists and politicians for holding a democratic main forward of a normal election scheduled for September 2020 confirmed the extent of Beijing’s authoritarian grip on Hong Kong.
“These developments mirror a dramatic improve in the price of opposing the CCP in Hong Kong, and the narrowing of potentialities for turning again the authoritarian tide,” it stated.
Reported by Gigi Lee and Lu Xi for RFA’s Mandarin and Cantonese Providers. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.