Occupy Central and the fight for information freedom

first_img News Hong KongAsia – Pacific “One country, two systems” – behind that common description of Hong Kong’s status as a “special administrative zone” of China lies a fight for basic freedoms. Freedom of the press and freedom of information are especially threatened. While the Beijing government notes that the agreement calls for only one country, Hong Kong citizens must be assured that they keep their so-called second system. So far, that is what has allowed journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders to more or less freely express themselves and disseminate information, without full-fledged censorship. Hong Kong-based media are still able to cover sensitive topics involving the island and mainland China. But the need to fight for continued freedom of expression and press freedom is growing stronger. Occupy Central, the umbrella revolution, is part of this fight. It has evolved from a latent and sporadic conflict to an open, wide-spread struggle between democracy defenders and the Chinese government and its political and economic representatives. The conflict has been building for some time. Over the past 12 years, Hong Kong has fallen from 18th to 61st of the 180 countries evaluated in the world press freedom index. The Hong Kong journalists who help set that ranking have witnessed the decline; so has the Hong Kong Journalists Association. RSF_en Receive email alerts The attitude of Hong Kong police toward media and journalists has been hardening in recent years. Arrests and police misconduct during demonstrations are becoming more frequent. Journalists and camera operators covering the umbrella revolution have been targeted for physical attacks and harassment, including sexual harassment.• Self-censorship and Chinese influenceActive collaboration between the chief executive and the central government, in addition to the growing violence, which some journalists take as reflecting a policy decision, have apparently not satisfied the Chinese government. Mainland authorities are tightening control of local and Hong Kong-based foreign media.Consequently, journalists in both groups are practicing self-censorship. Speaking anonymously, many Hong Kong journalists have told RWB that their organizations are practicing self-censorship, to the point of seriously breaching journalistic ethics, in order to avoid “problems with Beijing.” Last July, Tony Tsoi, founder of the House News site, announced he was shutting it down for fear of reprisal – that is, of being arrested in China on one of his frequent visits.Unfortunately, however, most self-censorship, even the most obvious examples, do not prompt widespread indignation. They remain out of sight unless pointed out. On 4 June, the South China Morning Post decided at the last minute not to do a curtain raiser about the annual “June 4th” rally, later attended by some 200,000 people, on the front page. The decision brought barely any journalistic commentary.Likewise, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal waited a day or two before covering the start of pro-democracy demonstrations in their Chinese editions, though the protests were front-page news in most foreign media,Direct involvement by the Beijing government in media control is growing. China, with the help of Hong Kong immigration authorities, is blocking journalists deemed dangerous by and toward the Communist Party from coming to work in Hong Kong. In 2013, Hong Kong Television Network was denied a broadcast licence. The Hong Kong government gave no reason for the decision, giving citizens reason to think that authorities, are moving to control television content, but are not being open about their actions.Currently, a triad presence in demonstrations, censorship of Hong Kong demonstrations by mainland Chinese media, the blocking of images by the Beijing government, the arrests of mainland supporters of these pro-democracy gatherings add up together with other violations, to undeniable evidence of the extent of Chinese influence in Hong Kong affairs. RWB Recommendations Hong Kong is supposed to enjoy broad freedom of expression – a guarantee expressed in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is applicable to Hong Kong. These rights are also protected by Article 27 of the Basic Law, the equivalent of a constitution for the Special Administrative Region. RWB condemns the growing control of the Special Administrative Region by mainland China. The organization urges that the peoples’ demands be taken into account, and that freedom of expression and press freedom be protected. Reiterating its support for the Hong Kong Journalists Association, RWB requests:Of law enforcement authorities:• That they arrest all those who attack members of the press during public rallies, and allow journalists to cover these events in safety;• that they take measures to halt violence against journalists, and to take all steps necessary to arrest and prosecute all those responsible for carrying out and planning attacks and threats against news professionals.Of the government:• That it definitively change its policy on press freedom, especially by allowing media to obtain the licences that they apply for in accord with al regulations;• that it prepare, as soon as possible and in close collaboration with press defence associations, a law on information freedom protection;• that it cease to hamper the right to inform and to be informed, by ceasing discrimination against certain media as well as censorship in various forms, including arbitrary information control, especially in press conferences; as well as abusive regulations, as in the “Companies Ordinance.”Of local and foreign media:• That they take all measures to operate free of all outside influence, whether political or economic, and to make public any pressure against them;• That they take all measures necessary to protect their employees from falling victim to such pressures, and to protect the physical security of reporters and of contributors to journalistic content that is considered sensitive. Follow the news on Hong Kong May 28, 2021 Find out more News Hong KongAsia – Pacific October 10, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Occupy Central and the fight for information freedom In order to bypass journalists, Hong Kong Chief Executive launches her own talk show on public television April 29, 2021 Find out more May 26, 2021 Find out more News As large-scale demonstrations grip Hong Kong, Reporters Without Borders summarizes the state of information freedom in the city. This year is seeing the gravest threats to press freedom since Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. Help by sharing this information Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK): Patrick Li, Director of Broadcasting or political commissar? News to go further Hong Kong: RSF appeals to the UN to act for the release of Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai Organisation The main indicators of the erosion of fundamental freedoms that RWB has observed include:• Information control and indirect censorship Hong Kong remains largely free of censorship policies imposed by Beijing, despite seven years of steady deterioration under Donald Tsang. But the 2012 beginning of the administration of C.Y. Leung, the pro-Beijing chief executive, immediately demonstrated that he represented an additional danger to press freedom and freedom of expression.To be sure, he did not push highly controversial legislation on national security, which set out heavy prison terms for treason, secessionism, sedition, subversion and theft of state secrets. But the chief executive contemptuously dismisses criticism of him and of the Beijing government.One year after his inauguration, his commitments concerning press freedom remained unfulfilled. Mostly importantly, these included drafting of a press freedom law, which journalists and citizens are still waiting for. Meanwhile, Leung has taken every opportunity to establish Communist Party censorship in Hong Kong, by restricting information on government officials’ visits to Beijing, and refusing to hold press conferences, or by only inviting camera operators and photographers in order to avoid question-and-answer sessions.• Violence and intimidationUntil lately, violence against journalists was extremely uncommon. Now, RWB notes a growing number of physical attacks. Last February 25, a violent assault on journalist Kevin Lau of the daily Ming Pao shocked the journalism community. Journalists were already outraged by an attack on employees of Apple Daily in June 2013, and the beating of Chen Ping, editor of iSun Affairs.last_img read more

News story: Fatal accident, Twerton

first_imgThis item has been moved to the National Archives as RAIB has published its report describing this accident. See report 14/2019.,At around 22:04 hrs on 1 December 2018, a passenger travelling on a train from Bath to Bristol struck her head on a tree branch near to Twerton, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of Bath Spa station. The train was travelling at about 85 mph (137 km/h) and the passenger sustained fatal injuries.The train was the 20:30 Paddington to Exeter service formed of a GWR High Speed Train (HST). Witness evidence indicates that the passenger was standing at a door on the side facing away from the other track. The door was fitted with an opening droplight window, which is used to access the door handle fitted to the outside of the door. A yellow ‘Caution’ label above the door states ‘Do not lean out of window when train is moving’. The window was reported to have been opened and the passenger had her head out of the window.Our investigation will encompass examination of the measures in place to control the risks from persons leaning out of train windows, including the threat from vegetation.Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry, the British Transport Police or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.You can subscribe to automated emails notifying you when we publish our reports.last_img read more

Valamar concludes Acquisition Agreement in Obertauern, Austria

first_imgValamar Riviera has signed a purchase agreement on the acquisition of the Petersbühel 4 * hotel in Austria, and the acquisition of the hotel in Obertauren represents an important step in expanding the company’s business outside Croatia. The hotel has 80 accommodation units and is in a great location in the winter tourist destination of Obertauren. Austria is a significant tourist country for holiday tourism with a number of potential synergies for Croatian tourist companies and is therefore a logical choice to start internationalizing. Željko Kukurin, President of the Management Board of Valamar Riviere and added “Internationalization of business is one of the key strategic goals of the company’s development in the coming period, and this is an important step in expanding the company’s business outside Croatia. Austria has a developed holiday tourism, especially in winter, and represents a logical first step in expanding beyond Croatia, given the projected synergies in employment, operational management and emitting markets that are very similar to those we have in summer. I believe that this is the beginning of the development of Valamar’s new business model, which will further raise the company’s value for shareholders, but also create added value for other company stakeholders.” Kukurin concluded.Valamar is recognized as a top employer in tourism with 6.600 employees, and in its 33 hotels and resorts and 15 camping resorts along the Adriatic coast – from Istria and Kvarner to Dubrovnik – it can accommodate about 57.000 guests a day.last_img read more

Govt, election organizers agree to restrict mass gatherings during regional elections

first_img“Having a Perppu will give us more legal certainty,” Bawaslu head Abhan said during the hearing.KPU commissioner Ilham Saputra said the KPU had prepared a draft of the KPU regulation revision. However, the commission expressed concern that the would-be revised regulation would overlap with existing laws.Read also: No rallies, no concerts: Govt plans to restrict crowds during regional races“Not having the [needed] Perppu will make us vulnerable when facing legal challenges but we are ready to change the PKPU,” he said.Commission II chairman Ahmad Doli Kurnia said the House would continue to evaluate the regulations regarding regional elections amid the pandemic and would be open to any possible new regulation or revisions.”The important thing to change is the PKPU now. We can follow up later if we need other legal instruments. There is still a possibility,” the Golkar Party politician said.Topics : The Home Ministry and election organizers have agreed to revise a General Elections Commission (KPU) regulation (PKPU) to ensure COVID-19 health protocols are followed during this year’s regional elections. In Monday’s hearing, Home Minister Tito Karnavian and House of Representatives Commission II overseeing home affairs urged the KPU to immediately change a regulation that allows candidates to hold rallies and concerts on the campaign trail, as it was counterproductive to the country’s efforts to curb COVID-19 transmission.”Therefore, there are things that need to be changed in the PKPU, such as the article allowing for mass gatherings and concerts,” Tito said. Previously, Tito said he would propose either a revision to the existing KPU regulation or create a specific government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) on the matter. Read also: Religious, political leaders call for poll postponementHowever, during the hearing, Tito argued that making a specific Perppu would take quite a long time, which was not ideal in these pressing times. He also said the KPU should increase the number of voting booths and polling stations for December’s regional elections.Nevertheless, several lawmakers and the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) demanded the government to issue a Perppu on the matter instead of revising the KPU regulation.last_img read more

Physician’s assistant busted for stealing medical equipment from hospital

first_imgPolice arrested 46-year-old Rhoderick Manhattan for stealing medical equipment from a hospital in the middle of a pandemic.The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Manhattan was working as a physician’s assistant at the Palms West Hospital when two hospital employees witnessed him stealing medical equipment.The witnesses told police they saw Manhattan put the equipment in a vehicle. When deputies searched the car they found over $500 worth of equipment that included 52 boot covers, 26 protective overall suits/bunny suits, 12 scrub jackets, 11 head cover hoods, a box of gloves and one pair of scrubs.Manhattan was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on larceny of emergency equipment and grand theft of emergency equipment during a State of Emergency.He is being held on a $15,000 bond.last_img read more