Mass petition handed to govt over Mallet visa - RTHK
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Mass petition handed to govt over Mallet visa

2018-10-08 HKT 16:57
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  • Mass petition handed to govt over Mallet visa
Representatives from different journalist groups on Monday protested outside the government's headquarters over the move not to renew Financial Times correspondent Victor Mallet's work visa, submitting a petition signed by thousands of people against the decision.

An online campaign, organised by the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Foreign Correspondents' Club and others, had garnered over 15,000 signatures in just over two days.

The British journalist was thrust in the spotlight in August when as first vice-president of the FCC, he presided over a talk by pro-independence activist Chan Ho-tin.

Like many people, Baptist University journalism lecturer Bruce Lui said he thinks the talk was the reason for the visa rejection. He said Hong Kong people are very angry with the government's action.

FCC president Florence De Changy said it's "useless" to worry whether she'll be treated the same way as Mallet.

But she declined to comment further until an official explanation is given. "We are waiting for an explanation from the government, a reasonable explanation," she said.

Meanwhile in a joint statement, 30 lawyers who are in the CE election committee criticised the government for the visa decision.

"Such rejection calls for an explanation in light of its unprecedented nature and its profound impact on Hong Kong's press freedom," said in a statement whose signatories included Bar Council head Philip Dykes and former lawmaker Alan Leong.

The Progressive Lawyers Group also issued a statement against the visa denial. "Any forced retreat of foreign media outlets would be a tragic loss for Hong Kong and must be vigilantly guarded against", it said. (additional reporting by AFP)

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Last updated: 2018-10-08 HKT 18:59