Conflicts & War

Amnesty International to close Hong Kong offices over security law

Beijing, Oct 25 (EFE).- Human rights organization Amnesty International will close its two offices in Hong Kong before the end of the year, a step “driven by Hong Kong’s national security law” imposed by Beijing last year.

The law has led to a drastic curtailment of freedoms in the semi-autonomous city.

“This decision, made with a heavy heart, has been driven by Hong Kong’s national security law, which has made it effectively impossible for human rights organizations in Hong Kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government,” Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chair of Amnesty’s International Board, said in a statement.

The local branch of Amnesty in Hong Kong will cease operations on Oct. 31, while the regional office will close by the end of the year.

The local office focuses on building awareness of human rights issues in the former British colony while the regional office conducts research, campaigning and advocacy work in East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

The organization said that “all of the regional office’s work will continue from new locations.”

“Hong Kong has long been an ideal regional base for international civil society organizations, but the recent targeting of local human rights and trade union groups signals an intensification of the authorities’ campaign to rid the city of all dissenting voices. It is increasingly difficult for us to keep operating in such an unstable environment,” Anjhula Mya Singh Bais said.

“The environment of repression and perpetual uncertainty created by the national security law makes it impossible to know what activities might lead to criminal sanctions,” she added. EFE


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