Hong Kong (AFP) – Hong Kong’s status as a bastion of press freedom is in crisis as authorities toughen their line against international media and fears grow about local self-censorship under the city’s sweeping new security law.
For decades the former British colony has been a shining light for journalists in Asia, lying on the fringes of an authoritarian China where the ruling Communist Party keeps a tight grip on public opinion.
The civil liberties that have stewarded the city’s success were promised to Hong Kongers for another 50 years under a deal that returned the trading hub to Chinese rule in 1997.
But Beijing’s new national security law — imposed in response to last year’s huge and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests — has sent a shiver through the financial hub’s media landscape.
“It’s a body blow. It’s the end of press freedom as we knew it in Hong Kong,”