Beijing ‘intimidating’ Hong Kong critics
Shanghai, May 28:
Chinese officials are using scare tactics to force critics in the Hong Kong media to quit their posts, a former lawmaker and radio DJ said yesterday. Raising fresh fears about the erosion of free speech in the former British colony, Allen Lee said he and two other radio presenters had been forced off the air because they advocated greater democracy. Lee told an inquiry that his family has been threatened by mainland officials and his colleagues had been reduced to tears by the intimidation from Beijing. China’s crackdown on opposition has manifested itself in a more heavy-handed approach in recent months to exert greater control over the territory.
In testimony before Hong Kong’s legislative council, Lee refused to name the Chinese officials who had contacted him, but he said the forced resignations indicated a crackdown on dissent.
The other two DJs, Raymond Wong and Albert Cheng, did not testify. Cheng said he was afraid that police protection was inadequate. Wong’s whereabouts are unknown. Lee, who left his post as Hong Kong representative to the mainland’s National People’s Congress and host of the popular Teacup in a Storm radio programme last month, said he could understand why his colleagues were frightened.