World in View: Hong Kong repression

February 3, 2022

From the January-February 2022 issue of News & Letters

by Gerry Emmett

The Communist Party government is clamping down in Hong Kong following rigged Dec. 23 Legislative Council elections that were boycotted by most voters.

In late December, pro-democracy online newspaper Stand News had its offices raided and was forced to close. Seven senior staff members were arrested and charged with “conspiracy to publish seditious publications.”

The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) protested the arrests. In retaliation, HKJA chairman Ronson Chan was briefly arrested. His home was raided, searched, and computers and banking records confiscated.

Earlier, in November, reporter Bao Choy of Radio Television Hong Kong was arrested for her coverage of an incident in which police worked with a government-organized mob to attack protesters.


Also in late December, authorities began removing Hong Kong’s public memorials to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of thousands of pro-freedom activists in Beijing. On Dec. 23 the “Pillar of Shame” sculpture was removed from the University of Hong Kong, the most high profile Tiananmen memorial in China.

Other memorials were removed or effaced at Chinese University and Lingnan University, over the protests of students, artists and activists. According to artist Chen Weiming, “Since the Chinese Communists implemented the national security law in Hong Kong [last June] they have eradicated the freedom of press, of assembly, and the freedom of expression.”

In perhaps the most sinister sign of things to come, police Major General Peng Jingtang was sent from Xinjiang to take over the military garrison in Hong Kong. He has been in charge of the brutal paramilitaries repressing the Uyghurs.

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