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Hong Kong Police Force ‘failing to control officers’ adrenaline’

Hong Kong’s riot police officers internally are being warned that there will be consequences to their actions of excessive force, and collectively there is a failure on the front lines of the protests to control officers’ adrenaline.

This was the opinion of Clement Lai, a 22-year veteran of the Hong Kong police force, and founder of the Clement Shield Limited private security firm. He was part of a panel discussing police tactics and behaviour over the course of the last seven months of protests in the city. He was joined by Amnesty International’s Doriane Lau, and Dr. Lawrence Ka-ki Ho, an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences at The Education University of Hong Kong and leading expert on the Hong Kong police. Representatives of the Hong Kong Police Force declined the FCC’s invitation to join the panel.

Lai, a former police commander, said that the Hong Kong Police Force was operating in an ever-changing environment and was now employing an “early intervention strategy” that, while effective, had disadvantages.

Calling for an independent investigation into the conduct of the police, Lau said there was evidence of human rights abuses including “something that can amount to torture”. She added that the current system of policing was not working.

Dr. Ho said the Hong Kong Police Force has, since colonial times, morphed into a paramilitary police force and that it was easy for them to find escape clauses for their actions. He added that since the 2001 terror attacks on the United States, police globally had become more militarised.

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How Liu Xia stepped out of the shadow of Liu Xiaobo to rebuild her art career

The poetry and art of Liu Xia, the widow of Chinese dissident and Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, was shared by the first Western writer to interview her when she arrived in Germany having been released from house arrest in Beijing.

Nick Frisch was writing for The New Yorker when he met Liu Xia, who was beginning to rebuild her life and career following almost a decade under the watch of Chinese plain-clothed police officers. He shared photos at the January 21 club lunch of Liu Xia’s art and poetry while discussing her life before and after meeting Liu Xiaobo, a literary critic, professor, human rights activist, and fellow poet. Liu Xiaobo died in prison in 2017 having spent the last 10 years of his life in prison for his involvement in campaigns to end the one-party Communist rule in China.

Watch the talk here

Hong Kong protests will continue despite district council gains, panel agrees

Hongkongers will “come out and strike again” to show their dissatisfaction at the governance of the city, a panel of political experts agreed.

Discussing the next steps for Hong Kong following November’s historic district elections, which delivered a landslide for pro-democracy candidates, guest speakers Lo Kin-hei, Derek Yuen, and Christine Fong agreed the vote had been a referendum on how Carrie Lam’s government was functioning. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp won 393 – or almost nine of 10 – of the 452 seats.

Lo Kin-hei, Chairperson for the Southern District Council, warned that the appointment of Luo Huining as Executive Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong would likely keep the protests that have gripped the city since last June going.

Hong Kong-born-and-based scholar and author, Derek Yuen, told the January 14 club lunch that he believed One Country, Two Systems – Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – was now “broken”, with only the Rule of Law remaining intact.

Christine Fong, District Council member in the Sai Kung District, added that although she believes in the right to protest – she herself attended the first marches in June 2019 – she hoped that the violence would stop to enable the city’s economy to recover.

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FCC statement on Hong Kong denying entry to the executive director of Human Rights Watch

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong expresses grave concern at the Hong Kong government’s decision to bar Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, from entering the territory. Roth was set to hold a news conference Jan. 15 at the FCC to release the rights group’s yearly report, which is critical of the Chinese government.

Roth, in a tweet, said he was not given an explicit reason for being unable to enter the city when he landed at Hong Kong International Airport. He was turned back and instead will launch the report in New York. Immigration authorities, in response to media inquiries, said that they cannot comment on individual cases.

The decision to deny Roth entry into Hong Kong follows a number of other cases that the FCC has been closely following, including that of a photography professor at a U.S. university, Matthew Connors, who was barred from entering Hong Kong earlier this month. Connors had been covering the protests and unrest in Hong Kong.

The FCC is concerned that the Hong Kong government is using the immigration department to act punitively against organisations and media representatives it does not agree with, which is a violation of the commitment to free expression and free speech in Hong Kong law. The immigration department’s lack of an explanation for Roth’s denial of entry is similar to their response after Victor Mallet, the former Asia news editor of the Financial Times and then 1st vice president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, was denied entry into Hong Kong in 2018. At the time, the FCC warned that this sort of treatment and lack of explanation appeared to be making a weapon of visas and violated press freedom rights in Hong Kong law, yet was assured that this wasn’t the case and that Hong Kong still upholds these values.

The FCC will continue to advocate for unfettered access for the media to freely cover the unrest in Hong Kong. As the Secretary for Home Affairs said recently in response to a question from a legislator, press freedom is “Hong Kong’s core value protected by the Basic Law and is the fundamental right enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong.”

He added: “The Government is firmly committed to safeguarding and respecting press freedom, and providing a suitable environment in which the media could exert its function as the fourth estate.” We call on the Hong Kong government to honour this promise.

Professor Niall Ferguson on Brexit, Hong Kong and China’s Cold War with the United States

China and the United States are embroiled in a Cold War in which a naval showdown in 2025 is plausible, according to historian and author, Professor Niall Ferguson.

This was one of several predictions made by the Harvard fellow and visiting professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing during a conversation with club president, Jodi Schneider, on January 9.

Prof. Ferguson, author of 15 books including The Pity of War: Explaining World War One, discussed global current affairs such as the ongoing Hong Kong protests, the Iran/US tension, the Middle East, Brexit and Scottish independence.

Among his other predictions was the belief that the Hong Kong unrest would reach an “uneasy equilibrium” with no long-term damage to the city’s economy, and that Boris Johnson would still be British Prime Minister in 2025.

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2020 HUMAN RIGHTS PRESS AWARDS

2020 HUMAN RIGHTS PRESS AWARDS
Now Open for Entries
(Scroll down for Chinese version)

We are delighted to announce that The Human Rights Press Awards, Asia’s most prestigious honours that recognise outstanding human rights reporting, have returned for the 24th year and are now open for entries. The deadline is 1 February 2020.

The Human Rights Press Awards are organised by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong, Amnesty International Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Journalists Association.

Showcasing this work has become more important than ever as governments around the region step up threats to basic freedoms, whether it be locking up journalists, carrying out arbitrary detentions or silencing political opponents.

Submissions must have been reported about the Asia region and been published or broadcast during the 2019 calendar year. Entries must be in either English or Chinese. Categories include Breaking News, Feature, Commentary, Multimedia, Video, Audio and Photography. Please go to the website for more details.

Each entry must cite the article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that the work seeks to address. This landmark document sets out the inalienable rights to which every person is entitled. The full text is available here: https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html

Entry registration at:
https://humanrightspress.awardsplatform.com/

For further information of the awards, please visit:
http://humanrightspressawards.org

And follow us on:
Twitter https://twitter.com/HRPressAwards
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HumanRightsPA

For queries, please contact the awards administrator:
Cintia Huen
The Chinese University of Hong Kong – School of Journalism and Communication
Email: [email protected]  Tel: (852) 3943 8705


二零二零年人權新聞獎
現正接受報名

亞洲矚目的新聞界盛事、二零二零年人權新聞獎現正接受報名,誠邀新聞工作者踴躍參與,截止日期為2020年2月1日

人權新聞獎由香港外國記者會、國際特赦組織香港分會及香港記者協會合辦,以表彰亞洲區的卓越人權新聞報道,今年已是第二十四屆。獎項旨在增加公眾對人類基本權利尊重,並令大眾關注任何對這些權利之威脅。

近年區內多個政府對基本人權自由之侵害變本加厲,扣留記者、任意拘捕、打壓政治異己等新聞時有所聞,令舉辦此獎項以表揚人權新聞,更形重要。

參選作品必須為亞洲區的人權議題採訪報道,並於二零一九年內刊出或公開播放。參賽作品須以中文或英文提交,今屆參賽類別包括:突發新聞、特寫、評論、多媒體、錄像、電台廣播和錄音及攝影。詳情請瀏覽新聞獎官方網站。

參加者必須註明參選作品與《世界人權宣言》中哪一條人權宣言相關。
《世界人權宣言》全文:https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html

網上報名平台網址:
https://humanrightspress.awardsplatform.com/

有關比賽詳情請瀏覽新聞獎官方網站:
http://humanrightspressawards.org

亦可追蹤我們的社交平台以獲得最新資訊:
推特: https://twitter.com/HRPressAwards
臉書: https://www.facebook.com/HumanRightsPA

如有查詢,請聯絡新聞獎秘書處:
香港中文大學新聞與傳播學院
聯絡人:禤小姐
電郵:[email protected]
電話:(852) 3943 8705

 

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