Government rejects visa for FCC's Victor Mallet - RTHK
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Government rejects visa for FCC's Victor Mallet

2018-10-05 HKT 16:39
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  • Government rejects visa for FCC's Victor Mallet
The Hong Kong government has refused to renew the work visa of Financial Times correspondent Victor Mallet, who is also the first vice president of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club.

Mallet, who is currently a news editor with Financial Times Asia, had been in the position since 2017.

A spokeswoman for the Financial Times in a statement said that this was the first time that it had encountered such a situation, and that the Hong Kong government had not given a reason for the rejection.

Mallet chaired a talk by pro-independence activist Chan Ho-tin at the FCC two months ago, despite coming under heavy criticism from the SAR government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for giving the secession advocate a platform to speak.

Mallet became the public face of the club as controversy snowballed over the incident, with former Chief Executive CY Leung launching a series of attacks on the club through social media.

Mallet insisted it was the club's usual practice to allow people from all walks of life to express their views.

Chan’s August 14 talk at the FCC came just under a month after the government was asked by the police to consider banning his pro-independence Hong Kong National Party under the Societies Ordinance.

Foreign ministry officials based in Hong Kong visited the club before the talk took place, and requested FCC officials cancel the event. The FCC refused, saying it would be against their stance as a champion of free speech and their belief that it is vitally important to allow people to speak and debate freely.

Many pro-Beijing figures attacked the club's decision, saying it was aiding independence advocates by giving them a platform.

On the day of Chan's lunch talk, several groups turned up outside the club to protest for and against Chan, and Mallet came out to meet the protesters and accept their petitions.

After the event, CY also called on the government to end the lease of the FCC building, saying the site was given at a preferential rate.

The Hong Kong National Party party was eventually officially banned a month after the talk, on September 24.
Last updated: 2018-10-05 HKT 19:10