Hong Kong denies entry to global rights group’s head 

The head of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth was to release World Report 2020, focusing on Chinese repression
Hong Kong denies entry to global rights group’s head 

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch speaks before members of the press in Tokyo on March 18, 2008. Roth scheduled to present the World Report 2020 in Hong Kong on Jan. 15 but was denied entry to the China-administered city on Jan. 12. (AFP photo)

Hong Kong authorities on Jan. 12 barred the head of Human Rights Watch (HRW) from entering their territory, which the global rights group said exhibits the “vanishing freedom” under Beijing’s pressure.

The rights group’s Executive Director Kenneth Roth was scheduled to release the World Report 2020 in the China-administered city on Jan. 15, but was stopped at the airport, and denied entry.

Roth, a U.S. national, said he “had hoped to spotlight Beijing’s deepening assault on international efforts to uphold human rights.” 

“The refusal to let me enter Hong Kong vividly illustrates the problem,” Roth was quoted as saying in a HRW press release.

The Hong Kong immigration authorities did not explain their denying entry to Roth.  “They could at least own up to the reason,” he said.

The 652-page World Report to be presented at a news conference was the 30th edition of its kind, that reviews human rights practices from almost 100 nations.

This year, the focus has been on the repression by the Chinese government, which rights groups say blatantly violates human rights.

The report will now be presented in a press conference on Jan. 14, at the UN headquarters in New York, HRW said.

International rights groups say Hong Kong has been facing repression under the Chinese Communist Party ever since the British handed over the territory to China in 1997. 

China promised Hong Kong autonomy under its “one country, two systems” framework. However, mass pro-democracy protests have caused intense social turmoil in recent months.

“Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Hong Kong to defend democracy, and the authorities block me and HRW from holding a press conference,” Roth said in a tweet. 

At a troubled time as such, “Beijing should be listening, not censoring,” he said. 

“This disappointing action is yet another sign that Beijing is tightening its oppressive grip on Hong Kong and further restricting the limited freedom Hong Kong people enjoy under ‘one country, two systems,’” he said. 

“Concerned governments should take a firm stand against China’s creeping repression that massive numbers of people have protested against for months,” Roth said.

Sign up to receive UCAN Daily Full Bulletin
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
Make a difference!
We work tirelessly each day to support the mission
of the Church by giving voice to the voiceless.
Your donation will add volume to our effort.
Or choose your own donation amount
© Copyright 2020, UCA News All rights reserved.
© Copyright 2020, Union of Catholic Asian News Limited. All rights reserved
Expect for any fair dealing permitted under the Hong Kong Copyright Ordinance.
No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without prior permission.