The human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) will close its headquarters in Hong Kong before the end of 2021, a step “motivated by the national security law” that Beijing imposed last year and that has meant a cut in freedoms in the semi-autonomous territory.
In a statement sent to the press this Monday, Amnesty International indicates that “the decision, taken with regret, has been motivated by Hong Kong’s national security law, which has effectively prevented the work of human rights organizations in Hong Kong freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the Government. “RELATED
According to the text, the local branch of the organization in Hong Kong will cease to be operational on the 31st, while the regional office will be closed before the end of the year.
The local headquarters focuses on human rights awareness campaigns in the former British colony, while the regional office conducts research and human rights advocacy in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
The organization indicates that “all the work of the regional office will continue to be carried out from new locations.”
“Hong Kong has long been an ideal regional base for international civil society organizations, but the recent targeting of local human rights groups and trade unions is a symptom of the intensifying campaign by the authorities to get rid of all dissenting voices from the city, “says AI chairwoman Anjhula Mya Singh Bais.
“It is becoming more and more difficult for us to continue operating in such an unstable environment. The environment of repression and perpetual uncertainty – Bais says – created by the National Security Law makes it impossible to know what activities can lead to criminal sanctions.”