The AOHKMP Responds To The United Nations Committee On Economic, Social, And Cultural Rights On The Hong Kong Government’s Fourth Report

Press Release


6 March, 2023

The Association of Overseas Hong Kong Media Professionals (AOHKMP) appreciates the reviews and suggestions made by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (the Committee) about the fourth report submitted by the Hong Kong SAR government under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The AOHKMP is fully aware of the incidents of arbitrary arrests, detentions, and trials of Hong Kong journalists, human rights lawyers, and civil society activists. The arrest of journalists is of particular concern to the Committee.

Regarding Hong Kong’s judicial independence, the Committee believes that the NSL has de facto abolished this essential element and core value of the city.

The Committee is extremely alarmed by HKSAR’s reports of a lack of transparency about the imprisonment and trials of members of civil society, including the denial of lawyers’ access to the courts despite Hong Kong laws guaranteeing such a right.

The Committee is particularly worried that the national security hotline, which is frequently used to suppress the right to free speech, could have negative repercussions on Hong Kong’s civil society, including trade unions, teachers unions, and other actors with an interest in human rights.

The Committee was worried about the implementation of the National Security Law (NSL), the harassment and arbitrary arrests of cartoonists, and the censorship of satirical content online and offline, such as independent films, plays, podcasts, and radio broadcasts.  To protect the right to free speech and the rights to history, culture, and science, the Committee calls on Hong Kong SAR to review the NSL.

The Committee is concerned that the NSL Hotline is being used to put pressure on  tertiary educators and students, which is in violation of their right to an education. Such a provision is having a negative impact on educators and institutions, like censoring teaching materials. The academic freedom will be compromised, leading to the dismissal and detention of students, teachers, and other university staff. The Committee calls for a repeal of NSL Hotline to safeguard the right to an education for all university students, teachers, and staff. 

AOHKMP Recommendations: 

The AOHKMP  urgently draws attention to how frequently the law is being used to impede press freedom.

The NSL of Hong Kong comes into force in July 2020. The arrests of staff members at the Next Digital Group, Jimmy Lai, the Founder of the Group and Apple Daily, marked the start of the media purge. The charges against the editors of Stand News, who are on trial right now, make it clear that independent journalism has become a crime as of the time this article was written. To avoid persecution, other independent media portals have been disbanded over the past three years.  

The upcoming and ongoing trials, which are being presided over by judges chosen by the Hong Kong administration, are likely to confirm our worst fears.  A number of pending trials have a chilling effect on media professionals, as news reporting is considered a criminal act in the eyes of the administration and journalists may have to face the unthinkable consequences. 

The AOHKMP seeks an immediate end to these proceedings as well as an end to the repression of the media by the Hong Kong government.

AOHKMP believes that one of our responsibilities is to use the freedoms that prevail outside of Hong Kong to advocate for press freedom and to raise awareness of the plight of those who remain in the HKSAR. We also see the Association as providing a network for journalists overseas and, where possible, providing tangible support to our members through training or in a range of daily life matters.


Founded in October 2022, the Association of Overseas Hong Kong Media Professionals (AOHKMP) is an association of media professionals who have worked in Hong Kong and now reside abroad. AOHKMP is now situated in the United Kingdom and operates in the key resettlement destinations for Hong Kong exiles.

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