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Amnesty International announced the closure of its Hong Kong offices

Pro-democracy activists held placards in Hong Kong court in support of their fellow detainees under the National Security Act

Amnesty International (AI) announced on Monday the closure of its Hong Kong offices in the face of the threat faced by its staff. by a national security law that the Chinese regime imposed on the territory.

“This decision, made with regret, has been motivated by the national security law in Hong Kong, which has made it impossible for organizations in Hong Kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government.”Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chairwoman of the Amnesty board, said in a statement.

Amnesty has two offices in Hong Kong: its local office and its regional headquarters for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The local office will close on October 31 and the regional one by the end of 2021.

“Hong Kong has long been an ideal regional base for international civil society organizations,” continuous.

“But the fact that local human rights groups and trade unions have recently been targeted is the sign of an intensification of the campaign carried out by the authorities to get rid of any dissident voice in the city. It is increasingly difficult for us to continue working in such an unstable environment “added the head of Amnesty.

Adopted in June 2020, the national security law, which China says allowed Hong Kong to regain stability after the gigantic and sometimes violent pro-democracy demonstrations of 2019, has radically transformed the territory’s political, cultural and legal landscape.

In this way, AI will close its headquarters in Hong Kong before the end of 2021, due to the reduction of freedoms in the semi-autonomous territory.

Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, Chairperson of the Amnesty Board

According to the text, the local branch of AI in Hong Kong will cease to be operational on the 31st, while the regional office will be closed before the end of the year.

The local headquarters focuses on human rights awareness campaigns in the former British colony, while the regional office conducts research and human rights advocacy in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

The organization indicated that “All regional office work will continue to be carried out from new locations.”

“Hong Kong has long been an ideal regional base for international civil society organizations, but the recent targeting of local human rights groups and trade unions is a symptom of the intensifying campaign by the authorities to get rid of all dissenting voices from the city “said AI chairwoman Anjhula Mya Singh Bais.

“It is becoming more and more difficult for us to continue operating in such an unstable environment. The environment of repression and perpetual uncertainty – Bais argued – created by the National Security Law makes it impossible to know what activities can lead to criminal sanctions “.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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