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法政匯思就馬凱(Victor Mallet)不獲續發簽證之聲明

2018/10/8 — 11:29

【就馬凱(Victor Mallet)不獲續發簽證之聲明】
【Statement on the Denial of Victor Mallet's Visa Renewal Application】(Scroll for English) 

1. 法政匯思對馬凱最近工作簽證申請不獲續發深表關注。馬凱是金融時報亞洲版編輯,自2017年10月起擔任香港外國記者會(「FCC」) 的副主席。2018年8月,馬凱主持了支持獨立主義者陳浩天之演講,而中國外交部曾試圖向FCC施壓以取消該演講。香港政府對馬凱不獲續發簽證並未提供解釋。

2. 新聞自由是文明社會的基石,而文明社會的政府須向人民負責。新聞自由在維護法治方面發揮關鍵作用,有助於確保香港的經濟成就和長遠成功。

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3. 重要的是,政府在《基本法》第二十七條下須肩負捍衛新聞自由的責任。政府只能在極為有限的情況下,為了維護國家安全、公眾安全、社會秩序、公共衛生或公德、或他人的權利和自由,才能對新聞自由施加限制。必須強調的是,政府並未就拒絕向馬凱續發簽證提出任何原因,因此我們對是次決定是否合理存有疑問。

4. 法政匯思感到憂慮的是,馬凱不獲續發簽證,將向外國傳媒發出一個災難性的訊息:若果他們拒絕跟從政府的立場,香港便不再歡迎他們。任何外國傳媒被逼離開香港都是香港的重大損失,必須竭力避免。

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5. 在沒有提供任何理由的情況下拒絕一名知名記者的簽證申請,將為政府開下肆意審查於香港的外國傳媒的危險先例。法政匯思促請政府立刻公開馬凱不獲續發簽證的原因。政府繼續拒絕提供理由,將加深寒蟬效應,並令國際社會認為香港政府的決定隨心所欲。

法政匯思
2018年10月8日

(PDF版: https://goo.gl/qu7nuf)

1. The Progressive Lawyers Group (the "PLG") is deeply concerned by the recent denial of Victor Mallet's work visa renewal application (the "Denial"). Mallet, the Financial Times' Asia news editor, has been the vice-president of the Foreign Correspondents' Club , Hong Kong ("FCC") since October 2017. In August 2018, Mallet moderated a talk by pro-independence activist Andy Chan at the FCC, which the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had tried to pressure the FCC to cancel. No explanation has been given by the Hong Kong Government for the Denial.

2. A free press is the cornerstone to a civil society, in which the government is held accountable to the people. A free press plays a key role in safeguarding the rule of law, which helps secure Hong Kong's economic success and long-term viability.

3. It is important to note that the Government is under a positive duty to uphold freedom of the press under Article 27 of the Basic Law. The permissible restriction to such freedom is very limited and can only be justified for the protection of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), public health or morals, or the rights and freedoms of others. It must be stressed that the Government has not provided any reason for the Denial and hence it is questionable whether it could be justified at all.

4. The PLG is anxious that the Denial could send the disastrous message to foreign media outlets that they are no longer welcome in Hong Kong if they do not adhere to the Government's stance. Any forced retreat of foreign media outlets would be a tragic loss for Hong Kong and must be vigilantly guarded against.

5. Refusing the visa application of a prominent journalist without any justification sets a catastrophic precedent for the Government to censor the foreign press in Hong Kong arbitrarily. The PLG urges the Government to give its reason for the Denial in an open manner immediately. Any further silence would deepen the chilling effect and impress upon the world the capriciousness of the Hong Kong Government.

The Progressive Lawyers Group
8 October 2018
(PDF version: https://goo.gl/qu7nuf)

 

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