Members Area

Petition demanding explanation for Victor Mallet visa rejection handed to Hong Kong government

A petition of more than 15,000 signatures was handed to the Hong Kong government on Monday (October 8) by a coalition of media organisations demanding an explanation as to why foreign correspondent Victor Mallet’s visa renewal application was rejected.

L-R: Chris Yeung, HKJA chairman; Chris Slaughter, FCC board of governors; Florence De Changy, FCC President;, Geoff Crowthall, FCC Press Freedom Committee; and Legislative Council member Claudia Mo. Photo: Genavieve Alexander L-R: Chris Yeung, HKJA chairman; Chris Slaughter, FCC board of governors; Florence De Changy, FCC President;, Geoff Crothall, FCC Press Freedom Committee; and Legislative Council member Claudia Mo. Photo: Genavieve Alexander

The petition, launched on Saturday by the FCC, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the International Federation of Journalism (IFJ), Journalism Educators for Press Freedom, and the Independent Commentators Association, calls on Chief Executive Carrie Lam to give a full explanation of the unprecedented move.

Among those to go to the government’s Admiralty headquarters were HKJA chairman Chris Yeung and FCC President Florence De Changy.

Photo: Genavieve Alexander Photo: Genavieve Alexander

Mallet, the Financial Times’ Asia News Editor, has been a journalist for more than 30 years and has served as the FCC Vice President since 2017.

“As such, he hosted many FCC events on a wide range of topics, including one in August with Andy Chan Ho-tin, co-founder of the Hong Kong National Party which has since been banned. This event was strongly condemned by the Chinese authorities and the Hong Kong government though it was lawful and took place in the same professional manner as all other events hosted by the FCC. The same speaker had previously spoken to other forums,” the petition says.

See the Chinese version of the petition.

FCC calls on authorities to explain visa decision on club Vice President Victor Mallet

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong is deeply concerned over the decision to refuse a work visa renewal for Victor Mallet, the Financial Times’ Asia News Editor. The FCC is expecting a full explanation from the Hong Kong authorities for this extraordinary move, which is extremely rare, if not unprecedented.

Journalist, author and FCC board member Victor Mallet discussed the threats facing India's Ganges river. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC Journalist, author and FCC Vice President Victor Mallet. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

Mr Mallet has been a journalist for the Financial Times and Reuters for more than 30 years, and this is his second stint in Hong Kong. He first joined the FCC in 2003. He has served as the Club’s First Vice-President since 2017.

Hong Kong rightly prides itself on its reputation as a place where the rule of law applies and where freedom of speech is protected by law. The FCC has been proud to represent and champion that reputation since it moved here in 1949.

In the absence of any reasonable explanation, the FCC calls on the Hong Kong authorities to rescind their decision.

5 October, 2018

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