An exhibition of Badiucao, an Australian cartoonist of Chinese descent, which was to open Saturday (November 3rd) in Hong Kong in the presence of Joshua Wong, one of the leaders of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, and two members of the Russian feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot, had to be canceled following threats from the Chinese authorities.
The exhibition was held as part of Free Expression Week, an event organized by the independent Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) news site with the support of RSF and Amnesty International. The other events will carry on as planned, including the screening on Monday of a documentary on the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.
“Whilst we value freedom of expression, the safety of our partners remains a major concern”, the organizers and partners jointly said.
This forced cancellation comes a month after the expulsion of journalist Victor Mallet, Asia news editor for the Financial Times and vice-president of the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCCHK), following his participation as moderator at a luncheon event featuring a Hong Kong independence activist.
In a recent report, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) denounced the continuous fall in press freedom in the former British colony. Originally placed 18th at the creation of the RSF World Press Freedom Index in 2002, Hong Kong is now ranked 70th out of 180. As for China, it ranks 176th out of 180 countries and territories evaluated.