According to a local media, the application of an Irish journalist for a work visa in Hong Kong was rejected. The authorities provided no reason for the decision, nor did they give a comment on such a move.
On Thursday, the Hong Kong Free Press reported that the city government did not grant a former Bloomberg journ a working visa. The publication cited that this occurrence may be prompted by the new security law imposed in the region.
An incoming editor at HKFP was denied a work visa this week, after an almost 6-month processing time. No reasons were given by the Immigration Department for its decision. Full story : https://t.co/Pp6ksOtSek pic.twitter.com/J8jlXXr19z
— Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (@hkfp) August 27, 2020
Aaron Mc Nicholas, an incoming editor for the Hong Kong Free Press, waited for almost six months, only to be refused by authorities to work in Hong Kong. He was already working in Hong Kong and was just asking to transfer his work visa for a new employer. The immigration department of the region also denied giving comments to the press, according to several news outlets who tried to contact the body.
Tom Grundy, the Hong Kong Free Press editor-in-chief, also said that this could not be “another tit-for-tat measure under the US-China trade dispute,” citing that Mc Nicholas originated from Ireland.
“It appears we have been targeted under the climate of the new security law and because of our impartial and fact-based coverage,” Grundy further stated.
It is not the first time that the authorities denied press people work visas in the region. Several weeks ago, an Australian journalist for the New York Times was not also granted a visa. The Times even migrated a portion of its staff to South Korea, citing concerns regarding the region’s new security law. In 2018, the authorities also refused the visa renewal of a Financial Times’ staff, Victor Mallet.
Furthermore, the police raided a pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily earlier this month. They even seized the publication’s owner Jimmy Lai.
The Hong Kong Free Press is a local media outlet with English as its language and founded in 2015. The publication, which strives from donations, reports news concerning happenings in the city.