Explanation: The decline of press freedom in Hong Kong under the national security law

In January, General Manager Carrie Lam said Hong Kong authorities were “not seeking to suppress press freedom” after newsrooms closed, and – in April – she said a press club’s removal of their Human Rights Press Awards was an “isolated” incident.

HKFP provides an update on incidents in the media industry since the National Security Law came into force.

Photo: Studio Incendo.

April 2022

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

March 2022

February 2022

Consumer Council. Photo: Consumer Council.

January 2022

Citizen News’ Chinese press team. Photo: Screenshot from Citizen News, via YouTube

December 2021

Acting Stand News editor Patrick Lam was arrested by national security police on Wednesday. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

November 2021

Sue Lin Wong. Photo: The Economist.

October 2021

File photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

September 2021

Chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association Ronson Chan. video

August 2021

July 2021

Steve Vines on The Pulse. Photo: RTHK screenshot.
Photo: Kenny Huang and Michael Ho/Studio Incendo.

June 2021

Dozens of Hong Kong police officers enter the Apple Daily headquarters in Tseung Kwan O on June 17, 2021.

May 2021

RTHK YouTube channel. Photo: RTHK screenshot via YouTube.
Claudia Mo. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

April 2021

Journalist Bao Choy appears in court on April 22, 2021. Photo: Studio Incendo.

March 2021

  • A senior Beijing official said the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” extends to the judiciary, the education sector and the media, in addition to civil servants.
  • A senior official with no broadcasting experience took over as head of RTHK, where three senior executives resigned within two weeks.
  • Hong Kong National Security Police have arrested a former top executive of Next Digital, the publisher of Apple Daily, for alleged fraud.
  • RTHK took the last-minute decision to cancel a program featuring a panel discussion on Beijing’s plans for a sweeping election overhaul.
Freedom of the press in 2021. Photo: RSF.

February 2021

World Press Photo exhibition in Hong Kong. Photo: World Press Photo Exhibition Hong Kong, via Facebook.

January 2021

  • The Hong Kong government has announced its decision to put Covid-19 press briefings online. He backtracked following criticism from a Hong Kong journalism watchdog.
  • The police demanded Apple Daily hand over information on journalists who searched for registration plates of public vehicles.
  • The police visited the newsrooms of Apple Daily, InMedia and StandNews with search warrants demanding documents relating to the primary election for LegCo in July 2020.
  • RTHK chief Leung Ka-wing advised staff not to question the 55 Democrats arrested under the national security law for their alleged involvement in the primary.
  • Three people convicted of rioting and assaulting a mainland journalist at the airport during anti-government protests in 2019 have been jailed for up to 5½ years.
  • Bao Choy has pleaded not guilty to making false statements after obtaining vehicle registration information for a film about the 2019 Yuen Long mob attacks.
  • The head of Hong Kong’s biggest police union has slammed public broadcaster RTHK for allegedly biased reporting on a weekend lockdown to tackle Covid-19.
A silent demonstration organized by the RTHK union to support their colleague Nabela Qoser. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

December 2020

November 2020

Jimmy Lai. File Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

October 2020

  • National Security Police raided Jimmy Lai’s private office.
  • A district councilor has been given a suspended prison sentence for publicly identifying the police officer who allegedly shot an Indonesian journalist in the eye.

September 2020

Inside the red brick wall. Photo: Ying E Chi Cinema, via Facebook.

August 2020

File photo: KH/United Social Press.

July 2020

Candice is a journalist at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She holds a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and an MA in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics.

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