Read the open letter by RSF (in French, English, and Chinese) here.Read the HKSAR Chief Executive’s answer (in English and Chinese): June 7, 2021 Find out more ChinaHong KongAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsMedia independence Organized crimeViolence to go further Organisation June 2, 2021 Find out more In a letter signed by her private secretary, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam responded last week to Reporters Without Borders’ open letter, but fails to assess the magnitude of the threat to journalists. Related documents HKSAR’s response to RSF (English version)PDF – 1.03 MBHKSAR’s response to RSF (Chinese version)PDF – 985.58 KB ChinaHong KongAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsMedia independence Organized crimeViolence Help by sharing this information News Receive email alerts PHOTO: ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP On August 12th, Chief Executive Carrie Lam replied in writing through her private secretary Ms. Maggie Wong to the open letter sent on July 26th by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Secretary General Christophe Deloire which was published in six media, namely: South China Morning Post, Apple Daily News, Liberty Times, Hong Kong Free Press, Taipei Times and BuzzOrange. In this letter, RSF presented five requests to restore full press freedom in the Chinese Special Administrative Region.In her response (see full text in attachment), Chief Executive claims that the Extradition Bill is not a threat to journalists and their sources. She ensures that the Hong Kong law enforcement respects “the rights of the media to report on public events and incidents” and promises that they will “actively investigate illegal and violent acts”. Regarding the overall status of press freedom in Hong Kong, she emphasises the “long established mechanisms” in facilitating the work of journalists, which include “24-hour media enquiry services.”Canned Response“This canned response fails to convince as it uses the same unsubstantial arguments put forth since the beginning of the crisis,” declared RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire. “Carrie Lam must recognise the seriousness of the threat to journalists before she is on track to restoring full press freedom in Hong Kong.”Since early June, Hong Kong has seen massive demonstrations against an extradition bill which Carrie Lam proclaims to be “dead” but has yet to be formally withdrawn. During the protests, police and pro-Beijing mobs have attacked journalists on numerous occasions.In the RSF World Press Freedom Index, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong (HKSAR) has plummeted from 18th in 2002 to 73rd this year. China itself is ranked 177th out of 180.RSF CommentsBelow are the main contents of the Hong Kong Chief Executive’s response (in bold), followed by RSF’s comments:“It is not correct to say that the [Extradition] Bill was a threat to journalists and their sources”. RSF: The Chinese regime has shown many times that it needs no solid grounds to attack critical voices in Hong Kong. If the extradition bill were passed, Beijing would no longer have to resort to abduction, and would simply be able to legally seize whomever they wish to silence under made-up accusations.“Police respects the freedom of the press and the rights of the media to report on public events and incidents”. RSF: During the mass demonstrations over the last two months, police have targeted journalists on numerous occasions, firing tear gas at close range, using batons against them, and flashing powerful beams to interfere with photographing and filming. “Police will actively investigate illegal and violent acts to bring offenders to justice.” RSF: Many voices, including a group of fifty HKSAR’s Government Information Officers, in an open letter, have called for an independent investigation to shed light on brutalities by the police and pro-Beijing mobs.“HKSAR Government has long established mechanisms and a proven track record of facilitating media work and providing information to the media and the members of the public”. RSF: In a report published on July 7th, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) deplored “one of the worst years” for journalists since the handover of the former British colony to China and denounced “a deliberate policy” to restrict journalistic freedoms.“The information services department and the Hong Kong police force both operate 24 hours media enquiry services.” Chief Executive Carrie Lam, members of her administration and the representative of the law enforcement consistently gave canned responses that avoided questions in press conferences, to the frustration of many journalists. August 20, 2019 Chief Executive Carrie Lam fails to alleviate RSF’s concerns over Hong Kong Press Freedom News In rural India, journalists face choice between covering pandemic and survival Follow the news on Asia – Pacific Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom RSF_en News June 10, 2021 Find out more News
Three days before Liverpool start their Premier League campaign, the club are embroiled in two extraordinary transfer stand-offs that show how players are shaping their futures by wielding increased power.British and Spanish media have reported that midfielder Philippe Coutinho wants to leave Anfield to join Barcelona, while Virgil van Dijk is keen to join Liverpool from Premier League rivals Southampton.Each player is under contract until 2022, having signed extensions to their original contracts, and both clubs want them to stay.Reuters PhotoBut that does not mean the deals are dead, even though neither player has the sort of buyout clause that allowed Brazil forward Neymar to leave Barca, prompting the Spanish club to come calling for Liverpool’s Brazil midfielder.”Ninety nine times out of 100 it is a power game, a case of who blinks first,” sports legal expert Richard Cramer of FrontRow Legal told Reuters.”Player power is enormous. The reality is a club may make the right noises but player power is strong because a manager does not want a disillusioned player who can upset equilibrium in the dressing room and create disharmony. Players and agents are very experienced at forcing a situation.”Former Liverpool player Steven Gerrard believes that in Coutinho’s case everything depends on how far the Brazilian is prepared to go to force a move.”It comes down to Philippe Coutinho and his decision and what he’s prepared to do, what type of war he’s prepared to create to get out, because Liverpool won’t make it easy for him,” Gerrard, who is now Liverpool’s academy coach, told BT Sport.advertisementSuch “wars” are increasingly common in football and Van Dijk sparked his own this week after several weeks spent training away from the first team. He has now requested a transfer and revealed his unhappiness by releasing a public statement.”I have been left frustrated by the club’s position that I am not for sale and am disappointed that enquiries from multiple top clubs have been consistently rebuffed,” said Van Dijk, who is fit again after an injury cut short his 2015-16 season.Reuters PhotoAlthough the Dutch international did not mention Liverpool in his statement, Southampton reported the Merseyside club to the Premier League earlier in the trasnfer window for an alleged illegal approach to the centre back.Liverpool subsequently apologised and said they had ended their interest in the player. However, British media say they are keen to rekindle it should Southampton agree.That may not be possible given the original “tapping up” allegation. Under Premier League rules, negotiations over personal terms can only begin once a fee with the seller is agreed, but few clubs adhere to the protocol.SENSITIVE DEALSThe two deals are sensitive for Liverpool, who are treading a fine line between keeping their own key player and acquiring another, particularly after their failure to sign Nabi Keita, who Red Bull Leipzig have refused to sell – at least for now.In most cases players and agents use their power to force moves.FrontRow Legal’s Cramer does not believe much can be done to make contracts more enforceable unless players are made to sit them out in the reserves, an unsatisfactory result for all parties.”Players are very highly valuable commodities. You would not want any of your most valuable assets doing nothing,” he said, adding that most players eventually get their way.Precedent suggests that, for all Liverpool’s bullishness, they will end up selling Coutinho, with Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso, Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling all having left the club in similar circumstances.The one exception was Liverpool’s former captain and talisman Gerrard, who almost joined Chelsea in 2005 after saying he wanted to leave. But as a Liverpool-born player, his situation was clouded by loyalty to his home-town club.”It’s very, very difficult,” Gerrard said of Coutinho’s situation. “Especially South American players who always go on record and say it’s a dream of theirs to play for Barcelona.”Van Dijk appears certain to leave Southampton, although his destination may depend on whether they will sell to a club who already have four ex-Saints players in the first team. Chelsea may therefore be a more palatable alternative.The transfer window closes at the end of August.
New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) Chinese handset maker Huawei’s sub-brand Honor on Thursday launched Honor 8C in India at a starting price of Rs 11,999 for 4GB + 32GB storage variant.It would also be available in 4GB + 64GB storage configuration for Rs 12,999 on Amazon India starting December 10.”The Honor 8C will make its mark in India as the world’s first device to be powered by Snapdragon 632 platform. With this phone, we mark another effort towards giving consumers a high performance product,” Suhail Tariq, Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei Consumer Business Group, said in a statement. The device is backed by a 4000mAh battery, a dual rear camera set-up with 13MP + 2MP artificial intelligence (AI) sensors and a 6.5-inch HD+ display with notch.The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 chipset and runs the company’s own EMUI 8.2 OS which is a first from Honor in an entry-level smartphone, the company said. There’s a “do not disturb” mode dedicated for gaming enthusiasts to stop notifications, alerts and calls while playing games.The Honor 8C also sports AI “Face Unlock” and has an 8MP front-facing camera with soft light.–IANSksc/mag/bg