IJF Urges Hong Kong to Stop Denial of Visas to Foreign Journalists

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(FILE) A file picture taken in front of the Saudi Consulate in Neuilly-Sur-Seine, west of Paris on October 1, 2019 shows dummies with press armbands and jacket piled up by Reporters without borders (RSF) members during a protest to mark the one year of the death of Jamal Khashoggi. - The annual report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on April 19, 2021 that journalism was at least partly blocked in nearly three-quarters of the 180 countries surveyed. Its World Press Freedom Index found 73 countries "totally blocked or seriously impeded" journalism, while it was "constrained" in 59 others, adding that many governments had used the pandemic to worsen repression. (Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP) Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP/dpa

The International Federation of Journalists (IJF) urged the Hong Kong authorities on Monday to cease denying visas to foreign journalists in the wake of a scandal with The Economist.

Last week, the UK magazine said that Hong Kong had refused to renew the work visa of one of its correspondents. According to the press freedom watchdog, this was not a one-time incident.

“The Hong Kong government should stop using the visa process to prevent foreign correspondents accessing the city. The IFJ urges the authorities to ensure foreign journalists, like Wong, are able to continue reporting in Hong Kong,” the watchdog said in a statement.

Over the years, China has been accused of persecution of foreign journalists by other countries and NGOs, with Beijing consistently denying such accusations.

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