HKFP Lens: Away from the media spotlight, Bangladesh clamps down on free speech

As far as Asia is concerned, the world’s news agenda is dominated at the moment by Hong Kong and Myanmar – the bail hearings for 47 Hong Kong democrats charged under the national security law and the increasingly bloody suppression of crowds protesting the against Myanmar’s coup. Meanwhile, Myanmar’s often under-reported western neighbour Bangladesh is … Continue reading “HKFP Lens: Away from the media spotlight, Bangladesh clamps down on free speech”

Beijing and Hong Kong officials say election overhaul necessary to defend against ‘separatists’

Top Chinese and Hong Kong officials voiced support for an overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system to ensure “patriots administering Hong Kong” over the weekend, as Beijing moves to pass legislation to tighten control of the city’s already restrictive democracy. The move was necessary to defend against “separatists,” said China’s Vice-Premier Han Zheng during the … Continue reading “Beijing and Hong Kong officials say election overhaul necessary to defend against ‘separatists’”

Video: Hong Kong environmental influencer says trail clean-ups should be the last resort

By Elvis Yu Melody is among a group of Hong Kong hikers who have been voluntarily picking up rubbish along the city’s rural trails. But whilst it may reduce litter in the mountains, Melody says littering can never be truly tackled if people’s attitudes and behaviours don’t change. File photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.Elvis Yu is a … Continue reading “Video: Hong Kong environmental influencer says trail clean-ups should be the last resort”

Brick roadblocks used in Hong Kong protests win design award

Improvised roadblocks composed of three bricks stacked into an arch were ubiquitous during Hong Kong’s 2019 anti-government protests and have now won an award in the People’s Choice category at the Beazley Design of the Year 2020 Awards. The simple design prevents the advance of vehicles as the brick on top of the structure falls … Continue reading “Brick roadblocks used in Hong Kong protests win design award”

An interesting vacancy: who will head the Ministry of Truth in Hong Kong?

It is a curious feature of current events in Hong Kong that the easiest way to understand what is going on is to read the works of George Orwell. Accordingly we can venture a prediction that, now that the government has declared its intention to outlaw “fake news” we shall shortly be treated to the … Continue reading “An interesting vacancy: who will head the Ministry of Truth in Hong Kong?”

An interesting vacancy: who will head the Ministry of Truth in Hong Kong?

It is a curious feature of current events in Hong Kong that the easiest way to understand what is going on is to read the works of George Orwell. Accordingly we can venture a prediction that, now that the government has declared its intention to outlaw “fake news” we shall shortly be treated to the … Continue reading “An interesting vacancy: who will head the Ministry of Truth in Hong Kong?”

Interview: The Taiwanese politician on the frontline of democracy, 17 km from mainland China

Wen Lii was approached by Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after it suffered significant losses in the 2018 mid-term elections and began looking for fresh candidates. He was offered the chance to stand in Taipei but turned them down. Instead, the former policy researcher asked to run in Taiwan’s smallest electoral district: the Lienchiang … Continue reading “Interview: The Taiwanese politician on the frontline of democracy, 17 km from mainland China”

HKFP Lens: Japanese photographer Yasuhiro Ogawa showcases 30 years of darkroom prints from across Asia

In a series of darkroom prints shot during his travels throughout Asia over the past 30 years – encompassing China, Myanmar, India, Cambodia and beyond – Japanese photographer Yasuhiro Ogawa captures his emotions during his travels, conveying a sense of serenity and freedom. In developing his negatives, Ogawa brought back the memories of his backpacker … Continue reading “HKFP Lens: Japanese photographer Yasuhiro Ogawa showcases 30 years of darkroom prints from across Asia”

HKFP Lens: Japanese photographer Yasuhiro Ogawa showcases 30 years of darkroom prints from across Asia

In a series of darkroom prints shot during his travels throughout Asia over the past 30 years – encompassing China, Myanmar, India, Cambodia and beyond – Japanese photographer Yasuhiro Ogawa captures his emotions during his travels, conveying a sense of serenity and freedom. In developing his negatives, Ogawa brought back the memories of his backpacker … Continue reading “HKFP Lens: Japanese photographer Yasuhiro Ogawa showcases 30 years of darkroom prints from across Asia”

Hong Kong Ombudsman to investigate HKFP complaint against police refusal to disclose promo video cost

The Office of the Ombudsman in Hong Kong has decided to launch a full investigation into HKFP‘s complaint against police for refusing to disclose how much money was spent producing a promotional video. HKFP wrote to the Ombudsman last month after police declined to answer questions about the cost of its video “Guarding Our City.” … Continue reading “Hong Kong Ombudsman to investigate HKFP complaint against police refusal to disclose promo video cost”

How Hong Kong’s government sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind

Growing up, I was a shy and withdrawn child and avoided crossing any lines. During my school  years I did not once receive a detention. The people I was drawn to were mostly quiet like  me. We did not smoke. We enjoyed reading, playing sports and building model kits. An exciting  night out was to … Continue reading “How Hong Kong’s government sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind”

Uighur author Gulbahar Haitiwaji tells of imprisonment and China attacks

Gulbahar Haitiwaji knew that China would not be happy about her book describing nearly three years of imprisonment, brainwashing and harassment at the hands of the authorities simply because she is Uighur. But the ferocity with which Beijing has lashed out at the 54-year-old author exceeded her worst expectations. “Rescapee du Goulag Chinois” (Survivor of … Continue reading “Uighur author Gulbahar Haitiwaji tells of imprisonment and China attacks”

US calls Beijing’s move on Hong Kong a ‘direct attack’ on autonomy

The United States on Friday condemned China’s proposed new veto powers on Hong Kong’s selection of lawmakers as a “direct attack” on the city’s autonomy and demanded that Beijing reverse course. The proposed measures “are a direct attack on Hong Kong’s autonomy, Hong Kong’s freedoms and the democratic processes,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters. … Continue reading “US calls Beijing’s move on Hong Kong a ‘direct attack’ on autonomy”

Hong Kong Justice Dep’t gives conflicting remarks over Beijing official who urged ‘severe punishment’ of democrats during active court case

Hong Kong’s Department of Justice has refused to comment further on whether it has a double standard on comments about ongoing trials, after it was challenged over a senior Beijing official who called for “severe punishment” of three pro-democracy figures on trial under the national security law. The department had previously criticised other comments about … Continue reading “Hong Kong Justice Dep’t gives conflicting remarks over Beijing official who urged ‘severe punishment’ of democrats during active court case”

Pro-Beijing politicians back Beijing’s plan for elections ‘with Hong Kong characteristics,’ democrats object

Veteran pro-Beijing politicians have voiced support for China’s plans to change Hong Kong’s electoral system to what one of them called a “new, democratic electoral system with Hong Kong characteristics,” but a leading democrat said opposition voices would be silenced. Tam Yiu-Chung (left), and Maria Tam (right). Photo: NowNews via Facebook screenshot.“Some people may think, … Continue reading “Pro-Beijing politicians back Beijing’s plan for elections ‘with Hong Kong characteristics,’ democrats object”

Beijing vows to overhaul Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, tightening grip on elections

A top Chinese politician announced plans on Friday to revise parts of Hong Kong’s constitution and institute sweeping political changes there in response to “chaos” in the city’s society. One critic said the drastic changes would make future elections meaningless in the city, while a pro-Beijing politician in Hong Kong said the time was ripe … Continue reading “Beijing vows to overhaul Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, tightening grip on elections”

Beijing vows to overhaul Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, tightening grip on elections

A top Chinese politician announced plans on Friday to revise parts of Hong Kong’s constitution and institute sweeping political changes there in response to “chaos” in the city’s society. One critic said the drastic changes would make future elections meaningless in the city, while a pro-Beijing politician in Hong Kong said the time was ripe … Continue reading “Beijing vows to overhaul Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, tightening grip on elections”

Four Hong Kong democrats in subversion case to be freed on bail after Justice Dept. drops challenge to decision

Four of the 47 Hong Kong democrats facing trial for subversion under the national security law will soon be released on bail, after the Department of Justice on Friday withdrew its appeal against a magistrate’s decision to release them and 11 others on bail pending trial. The DoJ on Friday revoked its decision to review … Continue reading “Four Hong Kong democrats in subversion case to be freed on bail after Justice Dept. drops challenge to decision”

Four Hong Kong democrats in subversion case to be freed on bail after Justice Dept. drops challenge to decision

Four of the 47 Hong Kong democrats facing trial for subversion under the national security law will soon be released on bail, after the Department of Justice on Friday withdrew its appeal against a magistrate’s decision to release them and 11 others on bail pending trial. The DoJ on Friday revoked its decision to review … Continue reading “Four Hong Kong democrats in subversion case to be freed on bail after Justice Dept. drops challenge to decision”

Hong Kong proposes 5 more statutory holidays for all citizens by 2030

The government has published a bill to give Hongkongers an extra five days of public holidays, to be phased in by 2030. The bill, gazetted on Friday, will gradually raise the annual number of statutory holidays — which bosses must grant — to 17, from 12 at present. These are in addition to any annual … Continue reading “Hong Kong proposes 5 more statutory holidays for all citizens by 2030”

Protest innovations from Myanmar’s civil disobedience movement

Myanmar’s military authorities have banned public assemblies but this has only encouraged protesters to devise new ways of expressing opposition to the coup. After the military grabbed power on February 1, a civil disobedience movement was launched which encouraged the public to stop going to work, boycott businesses owned by generals, and join anti-coup protests. Myanmar demonstrators … Continue reading “Protest innovations from Myanmar’s civil disobedience movement”

Covid-19: Hong Kong eateries required to have designated bussers; 70 Heng An Standard Life staffers in gov’t quarantine

Restaurants are required to have designated bussers from Thursday onwards following an outbreak at a diner. Hong Kong recorded nine coronavirus infections on Thursday, six of which were locally transmitted and one of them had unknown origins. The government updated its anti-epidemic regulations on Tuesday, stating that restaurants will be required to have designated staffers … Continue reading “Covid-19: Hong Kong eateries required to have designated bussers; 70 Heng An Standard Life staffers in gov’t quarantine”

‘One country, two systems’ and other key Hong Kong phrases disappear from Beijing’s Two Sessions report

The phrases “one country, two systems,” ‘”Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong”, and “high degree of autonomy” have all disappeared from a report at China’s largest annual political session that began on Thursday. The news comes as Beijing signals a overhaul of the city’s electoral system to ensure rule by “patriots.” File photo: Liu Jin/AFP.The … Continue reading “‘One country, two systems’ and other key Hong Kong phrases disappear from Beijing’s Two Sessions report”

‘One country, two systems’ and other key Hong Kong phrases disappear from Beijing’s Two Sessions report

The phrases “one country, two systems,” ‘”Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong”, and “high degree of autonomy” have all disappeared from a report at China’s largest annual political session that began on Thursday. The news comes as Beijing signals a overhaul of the city’s electoral system to ensure rule by “patriots.” File photo: Liu Jin/AFP.The … Continue reading “‘One country, two systems’ and other key Hong Kong phrases disappear from Beijing’s Two Sessions report”

Hong Kong court refuses to lift reporting restrictions on bail hearing for democrats facing security law charges, despite online leaks

A Hong Kong court has refused to lift reporting restrictions on the bail proceedings for 47 pro-democracy figures facing one count of “conspiracy to commit subversion” under the Beijing-imposed national security law. Chief Magistrate Victor So ruled on Thursday that the high-profile case shall remain subject to the rules set out in section 9P of … Continue reading “Hong Kong court refuses to lift reporting restrictions on bail hearing for democrats facing security law charges, despite online leaks”

BREAKING: Hong Kong court grants bail to 15 of 47 democrats facing security law charges

A Hong Kong court has granted bail to 15 of the 47 pro-democracy figures pending trial over allegations of “subversion” under the Beijing-enacted national security law. Chief Magistrate Victor So delivered the decision on Thursday evening. West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP. The decisions follow a marathon hearing that stretched across four days. The … Continue reading “BREAKING: Hong Kong court grants bail to 15 of 47 democrats facing security law charges”

BREAKING: Hong Kong court grants bail to 15 of 47 democrats facing security law charges

A Hong Kong court has granted bail to 15 of the 47 pro-democracy figures pending trial over allegations of “subversion” under the Beijing-enacted national security law. Chief Magistrate Victor So delivered the decision on Thursday evening. West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP. The decisions follow a marathon hearing that stretched across four days. The … Continue reading “BREAKING: Hong Kong court grants bail to 15 of 47 democrats facing security law charges”

Hong Kong’s Clockenflap music festival releases tickets for this year, says ‘confident’ event will resume

Organisers of the annual Clockenflap Music & Arts Festival have released discounted tickets for the November event despite lingering pandemic concerns. As the city begins to roll out Covid-19 vaccines, co-founders of the festival Mike Hill and Justin Sweeting told HKFP there were “good indications” the festival will be able to take place. “Clockenflap is … Continue reading “Hong Kong’s Clockenflap music festival releases tickets for this year, says ‘confident’ event will resume”

Hong Kong axed from economic freedom index after years at top spot, now ranked 107th as part of China

Hong Kong is now counted as part of China and has been excluded from a US think tank’s economic freedom index. The Heritage Foundation scrapped the city’s 2021 listing saying that its economic policies are “ultimately controlled from Beijing.” In the 27th edition of the Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong is no longer listed … Continue reading “Hong Kong axed from economic freedom index after years at top spot, now ranked 107th as part of China”

Hong Kong democrats facing security law charges return to court for the 4th day after seven fire lawyers

The hearing for 47 Hong Kong pro-democracy figures facing national security charges dragged into a fourth day on Thursday. The bail hearing continued after seven defendants dismissed their lawyers on Wednesday to speak for themselves in court. At around 9 am on Thursday, a long queue was seen outside the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts as … Continue reading “Hong Kong democrats facing security law charges return to court for the 4th day after seven fire lawyers”

Two Sessions: Why the demand for ‘patriots’ will silence dissenting voices in Hong Kong affairs

This is the month that Hongkongers will be handed the blueprint for their political future, and it’s not going to be pretty.   As the “two sessions”—the annual plenary meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)—open on Thursday, political and electoral reform in Hong Kong are high … Continue reading “Two Sessions: Why the demand for ‘patriots’ will silence dissenting voices in Hong Kong affairs”

Hong Kong democrats who urge sanctions are ‘separatists’, says CY Leung; does not rule out running for Chief Exec. again

Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying has said that Hongkongers should be grateful for their rights and privileges accorded by Beijing. In the same speech, he labelled democrats who have called for US sanctions “separatists.” “In Hong Kong, by pushing the envelope of democracy too far and by attempting to chip away at the authority of … Continue reading “Hong Kong democrats who urge sanctions are ‘separatists’, says CY Leung; does not rule out running for Chief Exec. again”

A new Hong Kong election law will be a ‘challenge’ to opposition and pro-establishment camp, says Beijing academic

A Beijing academic has said that Hong Kong will have a new election law with the national security law and the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” at its heart. He added that adopting the new law will be “an important challenge” to both Hong Kong’s pro-establishment and opposition camps. Tian Feilong, associate law professor … Continue reading “A new Hong Kong election law will be a ‘challenge’ to opposition and pro-establishment camp, says Beijing academic”

Hong Kong national security police arrest former Next Digital exec. director over alleged fraud

Hong Kong’s national security police have arrested a former top executive of Next Digital, the publisher of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, over alleged fraud. The tabloid was founded by media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who is facing security law charges. Stephen Ting Ka-yu, 61, was arrested on Tuesday in Central, after an investigation by the police … Continue reading “Hong Kong national security police arrest former Next Digital exec. director over alleged fraud”

The empire strikes back: what the Qing dynasty can teach us about Hong Kong’s modern rulers

Despite its roots in the Marxist-Leninist system, the Chinese Communisty Party (CCP) borrows many tactics from China’s imperial past for tackling a wide range of issues, from controlling political power dynamics to managing border regions.  During the last imperial dynasty the Qing (1644-1912) the minority Manchurians or Manchus ruled the majority Han and aggressively expanded … Continue reading “The empire strikes back: what the Qing dynasty can teach us about Hong Kong’s modern rulers”

Covid-19: Restaurant lease terminated following outbreak, BioNTech vaccine registration begins Wed

Owners of a Hong Kong mall have terminated the lease of a restaurant following a coronavirus outbreak in the eatery which led to at least 48 cases. A medical expert said the restaurant’s ventilation system was only providing one third of the amount of fresh air required. Mr. Ming’s Chinese Dining in the K11 Musea … Continue reading “Covid-19: Restaurant lease terminated following outbreak, BioNTech vaccine registration begins Wed”

Bail hearing for 47 Hong Kong democrats facing security law charges drags on, with four hospitalised due to exhaustion

A magistrate on Tuesday resumed hearing bail applications from 47 pro-democracy figures charged with subversion under the national security law, after the hearing which began on Monday had dragged on for close to 14 hours, leaving four defendants hospitalised due to exhaustion. The initial hearing continued till almost 3am and resumed late on Tuesday morning … Continue reading “Bail hearing for 47 Hong Kong democrats facing security law charges drags on, with four hospitalised due to exhaustion”

New RTHK head takes over after three senior officials quit

A leading civil servant with no broadcasting experience has taken over as head of Hong Kong’s embattled public broadcaster RTHK, where three senior employees have quit in the space of two weeks following criticism of programming from the government and pro-Beijing figures. In a speech, former Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Li vowed to … Continue reading “New RTHK head takes over after three senior officials quit”

Hong Kong’s popular ‘Instagram Pier’ closes to the public without notice

“Instagram Pier” in Hong Kong’s Kennedy Town district, which was highly popular with walkers, joggers and dog owners, has been closed to the public, the Marine Department has confirmed. Despite its widespread popularity, the Western District Public Cargo Working Area (PCWA) was already officially a closed area but gates remained open. The department issued a … Continue reading “Hong Kong’s popular ‘Instagram Pier’ closes to the public without notice”

Chinese University Hong Kong student union leaders quit after withdrawing election manifesto, citing death threats

Student union leaders at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have announced their resignation, citing legal intimidation and death threats to them and their families, after the university management severed ties with the union on national security grounds. Issac Lam Yiu-hei, president of the student union cabinet known as “Syzygia,” said all members submitted … Continue reading “Chinese University Hong Kong student union leaders quit after withdrawing election manifesto, citing death threats”

Hong Kong media and education sectors should also be ‘governed by patriots,’ top Beijing official says

A top Beijing official says the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” extends to the judiciary, the education sector and the media, in addition to public officials. Xia Baolong, director of China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, also took specific aim at three democrats currently in custody accused of national security law offences — … Continue reading “Hong Kong media and education sectors should also be ‘governed by patriots,’ top Beijing official says”

Axe district councillor seats in Hong Kong’s legislature and leadership election committee, pro-Beijing heavyweight says

A pro-Beijing heavyweight has said that officials discussed cancelling the five “super district council” functional constituency seats in the city’s Legislative Council (LegCo) during a seminar held in Shenzhen. Rita Fan. File photo: Apple Daily.Rita Fan, former delegate to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and former president of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, attended a … Continue reading “Axe district councillor seats in Hong Kong’s legislature and leadership election committee, pro-Beijing heavyweight says”

Hong Kong democrats facing security law charges still in court after seven hours as police arrest lawyer outside

A Hong Kong court is deciding whether to grant bail to 47 pro-democracy figures pending trial over allegations of subversion under the Beijing-imposed national security law. Meanwhile, lawyer Leo Yau – representing defendants including Chung Kam-lun and Andrew Chiu – was arrested outside the West Kowloon court late on Monday according to local media. It … Continue reading “Hong Kong democrats facing security law charges still in court after seven hours as police arrest lawyer outside”

Hong Kong democrats trial: Police cordon off area outside court, warn supporters that slogans may violate security law

Hong Kong police locked down an area outside a court on Monday as they issued warnings to supporters of the 47 pro-democracy activists facing trial over security law charges. Police officers cordoned off an area surrounding the West Kowloon Law Courts building after supporters chanted slogans such as “Hong Kong people add oil,” “supporting our … Continue reading “Hong Kong democrats trial: Police cordon off area outside court, warn supporters that slogans may violate security law”

Hundreds chant and show support outside court for Hong Kong democrats charged under security law

Hundreds of people queued up outside a Hong Kong court on Monday to support 45 democrats charged under the national security law. They were detained on Sunday following their participation in a primary election for the now-postponed legislative council election last year. Those gathered have also been warned they are partaking in an illegal gathering. … Continue reading “Hundreds chant and show support outside court for Hong Kong democrats charged under security law”

‘Ideas are bulletproof’: Hong Kong democrats share final words as they face security law charges

Hong Kong democrats, district councillors and activists took to Facebook over the weekend to share final messages of hope and encouragement before 47 of them were charged on Sunday under the national security law. They appeared in court on Monday to face charges of “conspiracy to commit subversion” after participating in a primary legislative election … Continue reading “‘Ideas are bulletproof’: Hong Kong democrats share final words as they face security law charges”

Lord Shinkwin: Beijing‘s bullying belies its insecurity

By Lord Shinkwin Who would have thought that George Orwell’s definition of doublespeak in his famous novel, 1984, would seem so inadequate? But then he could not have known the new heights to which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime would take irony.  Irony was on full display when its Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, addressed the Asia Society earlier … Continue reading “Lord Shinkwin: Beijing‘s bullying belies its insecurity”

47 democrats charged with ‘conspiracy to commit subversion’ over legislative primaries

Hong Kong police have charged 47 pro-democracy activists under the national security law on Sunday over their organisation and participation in a primary election for the now-postponed Legislative Council election. According to the police, 39 men and eight women aged between 23 and 64 were charged with “conspiracy to commit subversion.” They will appear at … Continue reading “47 democrats charged with ‘conspiracy to commit subversion’ over legislative primaries”

HKFP Lens: The plight of Myanmar’s people in 2006 – and how they still suffer under a new regime

“This is the BBC.” That sign-off to a short piece on the Newshour programme, broadcast on WNYC radio in the United States in late summer 2005, changed the course of my photographic career. The story I heard that day was about Dr. Cynthia Maung, a refugee from Burma, and the clinic she runs in the … Continue reading “HKFP Lens: The plight of Myanmar’s people in 2006 – and how they still suffer under a new regime”

HKFP Lens: The plight of Myanmar’s people in 2006 – and how they still suffer under a new regime

“This is the BBC.” That sign-off to a short piece on the Newshour programme, broadcast on WNYC radio in the United States in late summer 2005, changed the course of my photographic career. The story I heard that day was about Dr. Cynthia Maung, a refugee from Burma, and the clinic she runs in the … Continue reading “HKFP Lens: The plight of Myanmar’s people in 2006 – and how they still suffer under a new regime”