UK says Mallet visa rejection was a political move - RTHK
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UK says Mallet visa rejection was a political move

2018-10-10 HKT 13:52
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Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has described the Hong Kong authorities' decision not to renew a work visa for British journalist Victor Mallet as politically motivated.

The Financial Times editor was on Sunday given only a short-stay tourist visa after arriving back in the SAR from a trip abroad, leaving him with just this week to sort out his affairs and leave the territory.

"I remain very concerned by the Hong Kong authorities’ unprecedented rejection of a visa for senior British journalist Victor Mallet. In the absence of an explanation from the authorities we can only conclude that this move is politically motivated," Hunt said in a statement.

"This undermines Hong Kong’s freedom of speech and freedom of the press, both guaranteed by the Joint Declaration, and the Basic Law, and increases the pressure on the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework. I urge the Hong Kong authorities to reconsider this decision."

SAR authorities have refused to comment on whether Mallet is being punished for presiding over a talk at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in August by pro-independence activist Chan Ho-tin.

On Wednesday, around a dozen pro-democracy lawmakers walked out – or were ejected – from Chief Executive Carrie Lam's Policy Address in Legco as they protested against the visa refusal.

As well as the UK, the European Union, the US, Canada and Australia have criticised the decision to throw Mallet out of Hong Kong. Thousands of people in the SAR have signed a petition against the move.