Almost half of journalists in a Hong Kong media group said in a survey they are considering leaving the city over curbed press freedoms.
An internal survey by the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) showed nearly half of the journalists are thinking of leaving the city, The Associated Press reported.
The survey found 83 of the 99 journalists surveyed thought the national security law passed in 2020 has made their job more difficult.
“These results clearly show that assurances that Hong Kong still enjoys press freedom, guaranteed under the Basic Law, are not enough,” FCC President Keith Richburg said, according to the AP
“More steps need to be taken to restore confidence among journalists and to make sure Hong Kong maintains its decades-long reputation as a welcoming place for the international media,” Richburg added.
However, the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong denounced the survey, saying other countries have similar laws.
“There is no absolute press freedom in the world that is above the law,” the office stated. “It is a common international practice for countries to supervise the news media working in their own countries in accordance with the law.”
The national security law passed after huge pro-democracy protests in 2019 has been used to crack down on organizations and individuals who stand against the government and promote democracy.
Public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) was told in October it must support the Hong Kong and Chinese government, including the national security law.
Earlier in 2021, the government shut down news outlet Apple Daily, which was the biggest pro-democracy newspaper in the country.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam was one of the first women added to the Reporters without Borders “press freedom predators” list.