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Hong Kong Rejects FT Journalist’s Visa
NEW YORK October 5, 2018—The Hong Kong government has triggered a press freedom controversy by refusing to renew the work visa of a veteran Financial Times journalist after he moderated a discussion in August with pro-independence activist Andy Chan Ho-tin at the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC).
The Financial Times responded with a statement: “The Hong Kong authorities have rejected an application to renew the work visa of Victor Mallet, Asia news editor at the Financial Times. This is the first time we have encountered this situation in Hong Kong. We have not been given a reason for the rejection.”
The UK government has also registered its concern through a Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement: “Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and its press freedoms are central to its way of life and must be fully respected.”
The Alliance of Hong Kong Media created a petition demanding an explanation from Hong Kong authorities as to why Mallet’s visa was not renewed, “Refusing a visa in this case, to a bona fide journalist working for one of the world’s leading newspapers, sets a terrible precedent for Hong Kong’s reputation as a place where the rule of law applies and where freedom of speech is protected by law…In the absence of any reasonable explanation, we call on the authorities to rescind their decision and allow Mr. Mallet to continue to work for the Financial Times in Hong Kong and serve as FCC First Vice President.”
The Overseas Press Club is an international association of journalists based in New York City that works to encourage the highest standards in journalism, to educate the next generation of foreign correspondents and to promote international press freedom and the well-being of colleagues in the field.