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Activist raise alarm over curb of freedom of speech in Hong Kong

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Oslo | May 24, 2022 3:56:49 PM IST
A prominent Hong Kong activist has raised alarm over the curb of free speech in Hong Kong at the Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF).

Speaking at the Oslo forum, Glacier Kwong said Chinese authorities are using Twitter and other social media apps as a tool to attack those expressing views against China and project activists from Hong Kong as hooligans.

Kwong, a political activist from Hong Kong, made these remarks while participating in a discussion on "Tactics of New Authoritarianism" at OFF, a global gathering of human rights and pro-democracy activists united in standing up to tyranny.

Answering the question of how activists access the internet in Hong Kong and circumvent the risks posed by the authorities, Kwong said things started to change after 2019 and people started to educate themselves using technology.

"The Hong Kong government is threatening to ban Telegram. Not sure if they can. But if they ban VPNs like they did in China then I'm not sure people would know how to access them if they're not on the App Store. Need resources to educate the public," said Kwong.

She said China is using and encouraging its citizens as a tool to troll those expressing anti-China views and tweets. "China is criminalising the activities of Hong Kong activists both in Hong Kong, mainland China and abroad," he added.

China, one of the world's most repressive autocratic regimes, uses its legislative arsenal to confine its population and cut it off from the rest of the world, especially the population of Hong Kong (148th), which has plummeted in the Index, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Once a bastion of press freedom, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China has seen an unprecedented setback since 2020 when Beijing adopted a National Security Law aimed at silencing independent voices.

Hong Kong's Basic Law enshrines "freedom of speech, of the press and of publication". The National Security Law, however, serves as a pretext to gag independent voices in the name of the fight against "terrorism", "secession", "subversion", and "collusion with foreign forces". Due to its ambiguous phrasing, the law looks like it could apply to any journalist covering Hong Kong, regardless of their location. (ANI)

 
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