In response to the intense crackdown on media freedom in Hong Kong and the unprecedented exodus of media professionals, a group of leading Hong Kong journalists will be launching a new organisation, “Association of Overseas Hong Kong Media Professionals” on 31 October.
The Association seeks to campaign for the restoration of freedom of expression in Hong Kong, highlight the plight of journalists who have been jailed and face other forms of persecution in Hong Kong and provide mutual support for those who are now in exile.
“We shall defend the freedom of the press wherever it is being threatened or violated and help our members to rebuild their lives in their new overseas locations. We shall work with other international organisations to help with professional development and advanced training to our members.” said the Association on its website.
The launch, carried out in English and Cantonese, will be held on next Monday (31 Oct), from 2 pm to 5 pm at the National Union of Journalists, Headland House.
Alongside representatives from the Association, speakers from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) will also address the meeting.
As the launch will be taking place on the day prior to the one-year anniversary of the National Security Law trial of Jimmy Lai — one of the Hong Kong media’s most influential figures, there will also be a showing of the recently released award-winning film documentary: “The Hong Konger- Jimmy Lai’s Extraordinary Struggle for Freedom”.
Those interested in participating in the event can register online with the organisers via this link: https://www.aohkmp.org.uk/offical-launch-event/
The Hong Kong National Security Law was passed on 30 June 2020 by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress as a means of resolving the anti-extradition bill protests instigated by a bill proposed in 2019 to enable extradition to other territories including the mainland, and came into force the same day.
Among others, the national security law criminalises secession and subversion and penalties for offenders can carry a maximum term of life in prison.
Since the passing of the law, Hong Kong authorities have arrested and charged most of the city’s pro-democracy advocates, politicians and media professionals.
Increasing pressure from authorities and the risk of prosecution have caused many who have yet to be arrested to flee abroad.