Chief Executive Carrie Lam fails to alleviate RSF’s concerns over Hong Kong Press Freedom

first_imgRead 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 center_img 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massive demonstrations against an extradition bill which Carrie Lam proclaims to be “dead” but has yet to be formally withdrawn.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 Newslast_img read more

Disappearance of Guy-André Kieffer : Judicial authorities charge man in apparent attempt to make him the scapegoat

first_img Help by sharing this information Organisation Receive email alerts News Reports Follow the news on Côte d’Ivoire November 27, 2020 Find out more Côte d’IvoireAfrica The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Reporters Without Borders accused the Ivorian judicial authorities of “double standards” by charging a man today in the disappearance of French-Canadian journalist Guy-André Kieffer while refusing to question the people he has identified as having information about the case and blocking a French investigating judge’s attempts to question them himself.By charging Michel Legré, the brother-in-law of President Laurent Gbagbo’s wife, with “complicity in kidnapping … illegal detention… (and) murder,” it seems the judicial authorities want to make a scapegoat out of “an accomplice” and thereby avoid going after the people responsible for Kieffer’s disappearance, the organisation said.Reporters Without Borders also pointed out that either the judicial authorities had acquired new information in the case without sharing it with French investigating judge Patrick Ramaël, or they had charged Legré on the basis of the existing information instead of questioning the other persons named by Legré, as Ramaël had demanded.The organisation also voiced astonishment that Legré was additionally charged with “defamation” on the basis of statements he made to officials investigating the case, and it called on the authorities to ensure that, as the main witness, he is given adequate protection.It is also worth noting that, despite the complaint brought by Kieffer’s family and Reporters Without Borders, the authorities did not open a judicial enquiry until 27 May – more than 40 days after Kieffer’s disappearance – and when they finally did so, it was with the evident goal of intimidating a witness instead of going after the truth.Legré, who is being held in detention centre in Abidjan, was the last person to see Kieffer before his disappearance. In two interviews with the French judge, Ramaël, during Ramaël’s visit to Ivory Coast, Legré named at least eight people who he said were involved in Kieffer’s kidnapping. But Ramaël’s requests to interview these people got nowhere and he complained to the Abidjan state prosecutor of “a total block in my investigations.”A freelance journalist based in Abidjan, Kieffer has been missing since 16 April 2004. He was seen for the last time at around 1:00 p.m. in a commercial centre in the capital. His car disappeared, his mobile phone has been cut off and he has not contacted anyone. Aged 54, married and the father of two children, Kieffer specialised in commodities, economy and finance. He worked for the French financial daily La Tribune from 1984 to the beginning of 2002. Since then he has been a freelance reporter in Abidjan, writing for La Lettre du Continent and several Ivorian newspapers. RSF_en to go further Michel Legré, the last person to see journalist Guy-André Kieffer before his disappearance, has just been charged by the Ivorian judicial authorities with “complicity in kidnapping … illegal detention… murder (and) defamation.” Reporters Without Borders is surprised by this development as Legré named at least eight other persons linked to the president’s office who, he says, were involved Côte d’IvoireAfrica News Threats against journalists in run-up to Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential election RSF’s recommendations for protecting press freedom during Côte d’Ivoire’s elections October 29, 2020 Find out more June 1, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Disappearance of Guy-André Kieffer : Judicial authorities charge man in apparent attempt to make him the scapegoat News October 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more