Amnesty International stops operating in Hong Kong

16:56, 25 October 2021
Amnesty International stops operating in Hong Kong Photo:

The NGO shuts down its department in the region due to China’s strict national security law.

Human rights advocacy group Amnesty International announced on Monday that it was going to close its Asia headquarters situated in Hong Kong. According to the NGO’s representatives, the decision has been made since it became nearly impossible to work in the region because of Beijing’s national security law imposed on Hong Kong in 2020.

The relocation to other offices will affect around 30 employees. They will have prepared the necessary documents and terminate work by Sunday.

"Hong Kong has long been an ideal regional base for international civil society organizations, but the recent targeting of local human rights and trade union groups signals an intensification of the authorities' campaign to rid the city of all dissenting voices," Head of the group’s international board Anjhula Mya Singh Bais said in a statement.

China has been widely criticized for its crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and opposition. More than 60 organizations have been closed since the law came into effect.

In January Chinese authorities sent an email to the national security bureau in Hong Kong in which they accused Amnesty of poisoning students with their programs.

Amnesty whose headquarters are situated in the UK has been present in Hong Kong since 1976. It has already promised to keep operating in Asia.

"While leaving the city that we have called home for decades is devastating, we do so proud of our achievements over that time and confident that the strength of Amnesty's 10-million-plus supporters worldwide will enable us to continue our work together to end human rights abuses everywhere."

Last month nine activists were jailed for organizing the annual Tiananmen Square candlelight vigil. They were sentenced to up to ten months of prison.