The unprecedented denial of a visa to a Financial Times journalist “sends a chilling message to everyone in Hong Kong,” the paper said Sunday, as press groups and politicians in the city continued to denounce the move.
Asia news editor Victor Mallet was informed Friday that his visa renewal — usually a procedural matter — had been refused, weeks after he hosted a controversial pro-independence activist in his role as vice president of the city’s Foreign Correspondent’s Club (FCC).
“No criticism has been offered of his work as a journalist,” the FT editorial board said. “In the absence of any proper explanation for the decision, it is therefore hard to resist the conclusion that it amounts to retribution for his role as (FCC vice president).”
A huge amount of pressure was applied to the FCC by both the Hong Kong and Chinese governments to cancel the talk by Andy Chan, founder of the Hong Kong National Party in August.
The Hong Kong National Party has since been banned — itself an unprecedented move — though it was completely legal at the time of his speech.
Over the last couple of days we’ve had an (allegedly) murdered Saudi journalist at a Saudi consulate in Turkey, a murdered Bulgarian journalist in Europe, and now this.
It’s almost as though the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands anywhere else.