image

Press freedom in Hong Kong

Why Hong Kong needs Carrie Lam to explain reason for Mallet visa denial

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2018, 6:32am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2018, 6:31am

The Basic Law is Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, but appears more descriptive than prescriptive in parts. This is why some articles need to be made into law, as we have seen with the push from Beijing for Article 23 (anti-sedition) and from Hongkongers for Article 45 (universal suffrage).

Therefore, could Article 1 of the Basic Law (“The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China”) really be used to repress the freedom of speech or assembly (“Visa denial for Victor Mallet sends ‘chilling message’, Financial Times says”, October 8)?

Since there is a very strong likelihood that the refusal to renew the Foreign Correspondents’ Club acting head Victor Mallet’s visa was politically motivated (or, at the very least, that is the popular perception, which is as important), it is Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s responsibility to explain why the visa was refused on grounds other than political.

Or, she could come to the defence of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, state the Immigration Department had overstepped its mandate, and then demand the approval of the visa renewal.

 JC Clement, Jordan