EU concerned over BBC ban, RTHK's response - RTHK
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EU concerned over BBC ban, RTHK's response

2021-02-12 HKT 21:08
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  • The European Union said it saw RTHK's decision as a "further erosion" of the SAR's autonomy. File image: Shutterstock
    The European Union said it saw RTHK's decision as a "further erosion" of the SAR's autonomy. File image: Shutterstock
The European Union has issued a statement criticising a move by the mainland broadcasting regulator to ban BBC World News, and claiming that RTHK's decision to drop relays of the corporation's output reflects a further erosion of rights and freedoms in the SAR.

The National Radio and Television Administration announced shortly after midnight on Friday that BBC channels were being blocked for what it called "content violations". RTHK said on Friday that it would drop an overnight relay of the BBC World Service on its channels, as well as a weekly Cantonese-language programme.

In a statement from Brussels, an EU spokesman said: "This is the latest move by China restricting freedom of expression and access to information inside its borders, following on from numerous expulsions of foreign journalists in 2020.

"The EU has also repeatedly spoken out on cases of intimidation and surveillance of journalists and media workers in China."

It added: "Another consequence of the Chinese authorities’ decision is that the Hong Kong public broadcaster has announced that it will cease relaying BBC World Service radio and BBC News Weekly, thereby further adding to the erosion of the rights and freedoms that is ongoing in the territory, following the imposition of the National Security Law in June 2020.

"This also illustrates the reduction of Hong Kong’s autonomy within the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle."

The ban by mainland officials comes amid a dispute over the British broadcaster's reporting of the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjang, and follows a decision by the British broadcasting regulator to cancel the licence of Beijing-backed CGTN.

The mainland regulator said the BBC's reporting was not "truthful and fair," harmed China's national interests and undermined national unity.