Amnesty International said Monday it would close its Hong Kong office because of the threats posed to staff by the national security law that China has imposed on the city.
The decision ended the international human rights organization’s presence in Hong Kong for more than 40 years and came as officials transformed the city into an image of authoritarian China.
China enacted a national security law last June in response to massive and often violent democratic protests, a move that has changed Hong Kong’s political, cultural and legal landscape and introduced mainland-style restrictions on political statements.
Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chairman of Amnesty’s board of directors, said the decision to close had been taken “with a heavy heart” and “encouraged by Hong Kong’s national security law”. Amnesty has two offices in Hong Kong.
In its announcement, Amnesty said its local office would close on 31 October while the regional office would move “at the end of 2021”.[ka/ab]