Prevent access to the correspondent of the Financial Times
The writer Ma Jian, banned from the International Festival Literary Hong Kong
The uniqueness and autonomy policy that kept Hong Kong from the rest of China has suffered serious erosion in recent months under pressure from the Beijing authorities, in total collusion with the new leader of the former colony, Carrie Lam, to be elected in march of last year.
This dynamic has accelerated in the last few weeks and this Thursday the authorities of the territory prevented the access of the former correspondent in that city of the newspaper 'Financial Times' Victor Mallet, who had refused to renew her work visa in October, following a common practice in Beijing but unheard of in the financial market.
That same day, a cultural centre linked to the local authorities that had volunteered to host a talk by the well-known dissident writer Ma Jian, recanted and refused to hold that conference.
"we don't want Tai Kwun -the name of the public and private - will become a platform to promote political interests of any individual," said Timothy Calnin, director of the center.
To the writer Jason Ng, president of the association Pen Hong Kong, this decision is about "when less than an act of self-censorship" and a reflection of the retreat of local freedoms.
Ma Jian, 65 years old, lives in exile in London but maintains his permanent residence in Hong Kong. The writer has recently published his latest work, The Chinese Sleep, in the paraphrased one of the slogans most symbolic of the president Xi Jinping in what is intended to be a "satire scathing of totalitarianism reveals what happens to a nation when it is blinded by materialism and ruled by violence and lies," in the words of the editor of the text.
the organizers of The Festival International Literary Hong Kong, the event where he had planned to participate Ma Jian this Saturday, seemed to have found another place for his dissertation, but the own writer said in a tweet that this seat has also been removed finally to their offer.
"The easy thing would have been not to go, to avoid complicated issues. But increasingly I think that in literature there is no place to hide. The writers have to look at in a comprehensive way and search for answers to every difficult question that they do," said the author in another short message before arriving this Friday to Hong Kong.
"I'm a novelist, not an activist, and I'm going to the Festival to discuss my new novel. My policy is simple: I believe in free thinking and free expression. Without them, life has no meaning", he added.
The books of Ma are included in the long catalogue of works banned by the Beijing government since he published his first novel in 1987, a series of short stories about the chinese policy in Tibet.
The animosity of Beijing towards Victor Mallet is more recent. Back to when he was vice president of the association of Foreign Correspondents in Hong Kong, and that group decided to invite to a conference at the headquarters of the club to a local politician that advocates for the independence of the former british colony, the past month of August. Both Beijing and its local allies called for the suspension of the act.
Mallet was detained and interrogated for several hours and then expelled from the enclave. The british citizens as the journalist -who came as a mere visitor - can access regularly to Hong Kong without a visa and stay for up to 180 days in the workplace, according to the local regulations.
The previous week, another well-known critic of the chinese authorities, the cartoonist Badiucao was forced to cancel his exhibition in the same locality on the grounds that he had received "threats" on the part of Beijing.
"The decision was taken after the threats that have made the chinese authorities on the artist. We give a lot of value to freedom of expression, but the safety of our members remains a great concern," said the organizers in announcing the suspension of the sample.
Badiucao was not scheduled to travel to Hong Kong but to participate through a video call in a conversation with the activist, pro-democrat Joshua Wong and members of the Russian band Pussy Riot.
This long series of incidents occurs after the legal restrictions instituted to the groups, pro-democrats, or those who advocate for secession from China.
The next day 19 is expected to start the trial against 9 leaders of the call Revolution of the Umbrellas of 2014. The defendants face sentences of up to 7 years in prison under the accusation of having created "public problems", a point that recurs in the courts of the mainland china.
In its report last September, the think-tank canadian Phrase Institute again reiterated that the metropolis remains the freest economy of the entire planet but that feature is directly threatened by the growing pressure from Beijing.
"There is a concern founded that the interference of the mainland China finally lead to a deterioration in the position of leadership of Hong Kong, particularly in its rule of law, which ensures the same freedom for all," he said at those dates, a spokesman for the institution to submit its annual assessment.
Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the return of this territory to chinese sovereignty, the organization Human rights Watch warned in June of 2017 that "the chinese government has tried to undermine the freedoms of Hong Kong intensifying that effort in the last few years. Have been excluded the figures in the pro-democracy of the charges public in an offensive chilling against the basic rights of Hong Kong," said Sophie Richardson, head of China in this grouping.
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Publish Date : 10 Kasım 2018 Cumartesi 08:00
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