Hong Kong handover: News-stands are closed in police clampdown
Tuesday 01 July 1997
The police claim that the clamp-down on newspaper sales is part of a routine crackdown on illegal hawkers. However, licensed news-stands have also been shut down. In addition, hawkers selling newspapers and magazines in the nearby Causeway Bay area have been requested by the police to place controversial political publications either under the counter, or in less prominent positions.
Hawkers were told that the closure was prompted by fears that they would display sensitive publications which might offend guests participating in the handover events. This unprecedented closure of news-stands prompted the editor of a China-watching magazine to say: "It sends a very worrying message if the police are already preventing the sale or even display of publications which may be offensive to people taking part in official events."
The shut down has been conducted beneath a veil of secrecy and began before the handover ceremonies even started. It appears to be part of a process of placing a ring of steel around the convention centre, both for purposes of security and to ensure that the Chinese government participants are not aware of any protests or any form of activity which can be regarded as critical of the new government.
Aside from attempts to keep newspapers off the streets around the convention centre, the impression of an early start for press censorship was reinforced on Sunday night when both Hong Kong television stations were accused of refusing to cover a protest rally organised by the Democratic Party, Hong Kong's largest party. The party says that a diminishing number of their events have been receiving television coverage. However, the Sunday night demonstration was well covered by foreign television stations.
As if to prove a point the television stations also declined to cover last week's launch of a report on freedom of expression in Hong Kong compiled by the Journalists' Association and the Article 19 anti-censorship pressure group. Reports of this kind used to be well reported by the electronic media which had a healthy appetite for press freedom stories. Carol Lai, the association's chairwoman, said the Hong Kong media was facing a crucial test in the coming weeks. She was unable to be optimistic about the outcome.
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
New York police shooting: thousands turn out for the funeral of Rafael Ramos
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...