Media Censorship

RFA Closes Hong Kong Bureau Amid Media Freedom Concerns

Main image to the post RFA Closes Hong Kong Bureau Amid Media Freedom Concerns

The closure of Radio Free Asia's (RFA) Hong Kong bureau has raised concerns about the city's media freedoms. RFA President Bay Fang cited safety concerns under the new national security law, known as Article 23, as the reason for the closure. The law has been criticized for its broad scope, which includes targeting "colluding with external forces" to commit illegal acts.

The move by RFA reflects the shrinking space for a free press in Hong Kong. Since the enactment of Article 23, two local news outlets, Apple Daily and Stand News, have been forced to shut down after the arrest of their senior management. Hong Kong now ranks 140th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index.

The new security law has sparked fears among journalists that their day-to-day work could be criminalized. The Hong Kong government has insisted that the law only targets a small minority of people who endanger national security and that most journalists will not unwittingly violate it. However, the government has also condemned "scaremongering and smearing remarks" against the law and has criticized articles by international media outlets.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09