China Bans Human Rights Watch Head from Hong Kong

China Bans Human Rights Watch Head from Hong Kong

"This disappointing action is yet another sign that Beijing is tightening its oppressive grip on Hong Kong and further restricting the limited freedom Hong Kong people enjoy under 'one country, two systems, '" Roth said in a subsequent statement released by HRW, referring to the framework by which the Chinese regime promised to rule Hong Kong upon the territory's handover of sovereignty to China from the United Kingdom in 1997.

In a video filmed at Hong Kong International Airport and shared on Twitter, Mr Roth - a U.S. citizen - said officials told him he was barred for "immigration reasons", even though he had visited the city before.

China pledged last month to sanction organizations that it said "performed badly" in relation to anti-government protests that have roiled Hong Kong for more than seven months.

Meeting reporters on Monday, Geng also said the governments of China and Hong Kong are carrying out their legal immigration control duties.

The global head of Human Rights Watch says he has been denied entry to Hong Kong, where he was scheduled to launch the organisation's latest world report this week.

"I had hoped to spotlight Beijing's deepening assault on the worldwide efforts to uphold human rights", Roth said in the news release. "But the authorities just blocked my entrance to Hong Kong, illustrating the worsening problem". When he asked why, they told him repeatedly that it was for "immigration reasons", without elaborating.

"They have instigated the activities of Hong Kong separatists and hold a major responsibility for the current chaos", Geng said.

The extradition bill has since been withdrawn, but the pro-democracy demonstrations have continued, with a protest on Sunday in central Hong Kong that was attended by a few thousand.

The unrest that began last June is the biggest crisis the former British colony has faced since its return to Chinese rule in 1997.

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong, where Roth was scheduled to speak, said it is "concerned that the Hong Kong government is using the immigration department to act punitively against organizations and media representatives it does not agree with, which is a violation of the commitment to free expression and free speech in Hong Kong law".

Roth joins a growing list of openly critical academics, researchers, politicians and activists who have been refused entry in recent years. Neither Beijing nor Hong Kong has provided further details of what those sanctions might entail, according to HRW. The movement has since expanded to include demands for electoral reform and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality.

"This disappointing action is yet another sign that Beijing is tightening its oppressive grip on Hong Kong and further restricting the limited freedom Hong Kong people enjoy under "one country, two systems", Roth said in the organization's statement.

During the protests several activists, foreign journalists and academics were barred, HRW said in a statement.

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