Left Menu
Development News Edition

China defends barring Human Rights Watch head from Hong Kong

PTI | Beijing | Updated: 13-01-2020 15:51 IST | Created: 13-01-2020 15:50 IST
China defends barring Human Rights Watch head from Hong Kong
Representative Image Image Credit: Twitter (@KenRoth)

China on Monday defended barring the head of Human Rights Watch from entering Hong Kong, saying non-governmental organizations were responsible for political unrest in the city and should "pay the proper price".

Kenneth Roth was supposed to give a press conference in Hong Kong this week to unveil the New York-based rights group's latest global survey, which accuses China of prosecuting "an intensive attack" on international human rights agencies. The long-time executive director said Sunday that he was turned back by authorities at the city's airport.

China last month announced sanctions on American NGOs, including HRW, in retaliation for the passage of a US bill backing Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement. "Allowing or not allowing someone's entry is China's sovereign right," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.

"Plenty of facts and evidence show that the relevant NGO has through various means supported anti-China radicals, encouraged them to engage in extremist, violent and criminal activity, and incited Hong Kong independence separatist activities," Geng said. "They bear major responsibility for the current chaos in Hong Kong. These organizations should be punished, and should pay the proper price." Hong Kong has been battered by nearly seven months of occasionally violent protests, its biggest political crisis in decades.

Millions have turned out on the streets of the semi-autonomous financial hub to demand greater democratic freedoms. Roth joins a growing list of openly critical academics, researchers, politicians, and activists who have been refused entry in recent years.

Financial Times journalist Victor Mallet was denied a visa renewal without reason in 2018 after he hosted a talk with the leader of a small and now banned independence party at the city's press club. Last September, an American academic was barred from entering after he testified in a Congressional hearing alongside prominent Hong Kong democracy activists.

"I had hoped to spotlight Beijing's deepening assault on international efforts to uphold human rights," Roth said. "The refusal to let me enter Hong Kong vividly illustrates the problem." Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division, said that when Roth asked why he was prevented from entering Hong Kong, he was only told that it was "immigration reasons".

"What we believe is that he was stopped because the Chinese government is afraid to have the world know what they are doing to the people of Hong Kong and the people of China," Robertson told AFP in Bangkok. The unrest that began last June is the biggest crisis the former British colony has faced since its return to Chinese rule in 1997.

Under the terms of the handover, Hong Kong enjoys unique freedoms unseen on the mainland, but in recent years fears have increased that these liberties are being chipped away as Beijing exerts more control over the territory. China and the Hong Kong administration have refused to cede to the protesters' demands, which include fully free elections in the city, an inquiry into alleged police misconduct, and amnesty for the nearly 6,500 people arrested during the movement -- nearly a third of them under the age of 20.

Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents' Club, which was to host Roths' press conference on Wednesday, said in a statement it was concerned that the city's government was using the immigration department to "act punitively against organizations 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.

PMS

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Education post-coronavirus: Schools to rush for more digitalization

Digital education would undoubtedly boom in the post-coronavirus world, supported by educational institutions that have discovered its efficiency during the crisis, but it is still not expected to outshine traditional classroom learning....

Public health care post-COVID 19 to go for revamping, not rebooting

Until now, the economies used to classify healthcare sector under social expenditure. However, the devastation caused by COVID 19 pandemic has upgraded public healthcare on topmost priority and core economic activity for controlling future ...

Coronavirus lockdowns to speed up long-pending revamping of supply chains

With millions of production lines impacted, business disruptions to some extent are unavoidable and the lessons learned from this turbulence will leave an everlasting impact on both global and local levels of supply chains....

COVID 19 to catalyze the redefinition of urban planning and sustainability

Until now the urban planning was focused on mitigation to natural disastrous, climate change, pollution, chronic illness and lifestyle diseases. However, the global pandemic of novel coronavirus is going to change the whole narrative of urb...

Videos

Latest News

London stocks drop on prolong lockdown fears

UK shares slipped on Monday as another wave of stimulus measures failed to calm investors worried by the possibility of a prolonged coronavirus-led shutdown in Britain. The internationally focused FTSE 100 index slipped 1.7, with shares in ...

FACTBOX-Latest on the spread of the coronavirus around the world

Countries affected by the novel coronavirus entered another week of strict quarantine measures and several nations introduced new economic stimulus to aid citizens and companies hit by the pandemic.DEATHS, INFECTIONS More than 720,000 peop...

Russia's PM asks regions to consider Moscow-style coronavirus restrictions - RIA

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asked Russias regional governors on Monday to consider imposing the same restrictions on movement to halt the spread of the coronavirus that has been imposed in Moscow, the RIA news agency reported.Authoriti...

UK PM Johnson's adviser Cummings isolating with coronavirus symptoms

The coronavirus outbreak at the heart of the British government spread on Monday with Prime Minister Boris Johnsons senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, self-isolating with symptoms just days after the British leader himself tested positive.A ...

Give Feedback