IFJ Demands 'Free Press - Free Hong Kong'

On March 13 the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) delivered a letter to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong H.E. Leung Chun-Ying co-signed by 55 international human rights and media organisations. It calls on Mr Leung to take immediate steps to protect freedom of expression and defend press freedoms.

The letter includes a catalogue of press freedom violationsthat have occurred between June 2013 and February 2014, including the brutal attack with a cleaver on former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau on 26 February 2014.

The global signature campaign was initiated by the IFJ Asia Pacific through IFEX, the global network of organisations unified in defending and promoting free expression and culminated on March 7. The 55 international organisations included Reporters without Boarders, Freedom House, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and the World Press Freedom Committee (see full list below).


The letter was delivered yesterday to both Leung Chun-Ying, Chief Executive of Hong Kong and Andy Tsang, Hong Kong’s Commissioner of Police.


“That such a large number and vast array of international organisations have added their weight  to this campaign shows the groundswell of concern around the world about diminishing press freedoms in Hong Kong,” said the IFJ Asia-Pacific’s deputy director, Jane Worthington.

The IFJ-HKJA letter calls on Leung Chun-Ying to honour his promise to defend press freedom and enact Freedom of Information legislation.

“Leung Chun-Ying has repeatedly claimed that he and his government place great importance on press freedom. According to Article 27 of the Basic Law, which functions as the constitution of Hong Kong, the territory's residents enjoy press freedom. In addition, Section 16 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance says that Hong Kong enjoys freedom of opinion and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is in effect in Hong Kong by virtue of the Bill of Rights Ordinance and Article 39 of the Basic Law,” the letter states.


“Sadly, the Hong Kong government and the Chief Executive have not fully upheld these rights and Mr Leung has failed to honour the HKJA charter that he signed in 2012, namely to defend press freedom and play an active role in implementing a freedom of information law (See page 2 of the 2013 HKJA annual report).”

“The IFJ alongside the HKJA call on the Chief Executive to make a public statement affirming that he will address the concerns of the international media community and honour his pledge to defend a free media in Hong Kong,” Worthington said.


Read the letter here:

IFEX members call on Hong Kong Chief Executive to honour press freedom.pdf


The list of co-signed organisations:

Hong Kong Journalists Association 
International Federation of Journalists 
Adil Soz - International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech 
Afghanistan Journalists Center 
Aliansi Jurnalis Independen/Alliance of Independent Journalists 
Association of Caribbean Media Workers 
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression 
Cartoonists Rights Network International 
Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility 
Center for Media Studies & Peace Building 
Committee to Protect Journalists 
Freedom Forum 
Freedom House 
Independent Journalism Center - Moldova 
Index on Censorship 
Initiative for Freedom of Expression - Turkey 
Institute for the Studies on Free Flow of Information 
International Press Institute 
International Publishers Association 
Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance 
Media Watch 
National Union of Somali Journalists 
Pacific Islands News Association 
Pakistan Press Foundation 
Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms - MADA 
PEN International 
Reporters Without Borders 
Southeast Asian Press Alliance 
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers 
World Press Freedom Committee 
All About Media (論盡媒體) 
Alliance of the Guard of Canadian Values 
All India Newspaper Employees Federation (AINEF) 
Andhra Pradesh Journalists Union (APJU) 
Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) 
Association of Taiwan Journalists 
Canada-Hong Kong Link 
Federation of Overseas Hong Kong Chinese, District of Columbia (FOHKC-DC) (華盛顿海外香港華人聯會) 
Giang Dang, Center for Community Support and Development Studies (CECODES) 
Hong Kong Forum, Los Angeles 
Hong Kong In-Media 
Independent Chinese Pen Center (獨立中文筆會) 
The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) 
ITUC/GUF Hong Kong Liaison Office (IHLO) 
Juned Sonido, Baratillo.net 
Media Association Blong Vanuatu 
Movement for Democracy in China (Calgary) 
National Union of Journalist Malaysia (NUJM) 
National Union of Journalists Peninsular Malaysia 
Next Media Trade Union 
New School for Democracy (華人民主書院) 
New Zealand EPMU 
The Norwegian Union of Journalists (Norsk Journalistlag) 
Taiwan Society for Democracy (華人民主文化協會) 
Toronto Association for Democracy in China 
UNI Asia & Pacific 
Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement (VSSDM) 



For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific